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Riverbed Comes Out at $9.75

Riverbed became a public company today, getting a welcome reception from investors with a higher share price and count than it had forecast.

The WAFS vendor priced an offering of 8.8 million shares at $9.75, above its proposed price range of $7 to $8.50 and more than its original plan of 8.4 million shares. (See Riverbed Sets IPO Terms.) Riverbed raised $86 million in the offering.

That's not bad, considering Riverbed has yet to turn a profit and competes with vendors like Cisco, Citrux, F5 Networks, Juniper, and Packeteer in a growing but crowded market. And the share price rose in early trading - by noon it was at $14.57, an increase of more than 49 percent from its opening price.

Riverbed is the first storage company to go public in more than two years -- systems vendor Xyratex was the last in June 2004. (See Xyratex Files for IPO.) Data protection vendors CommVault and Double-Take and NAS vendor Isilon have filed for IPOs, with CommVault expected to price its shares this week or next. (See CommVault's One Step Closer.)

While storage IPOs have been few and far between, acquisitions have been plentiful. One analyst says those market dynamics may have led to Riverbed's high price, and could bode well for the other startups on deck to go public.

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