Corvis Nets $1.14B In IPO



Fiber-optic equipment maker Corvis Corp. made its Nasdaq debut today at more than double its initial public offering price, quickly zooming to $98 a share before falling back to around $80.

Corvis (stock: CORV), which makes optical-signal routers, raised $1.14 billion in its IPO when it sold 31.6 million shares at $36 per share, more than double the estimated price set earlier in the week. Credit Suisse First Boston was the lead underwriter.

"Corvis is gearing up to be a top-tier optical company. They don't want to be lumped in with the startups. They're going to be competing directly with the Nortels and the Lucents," says Andrew McCormick, senior analyst for optical communications at the Aberdeen Group. "They have the technology and they have an excellent team."

Backed by venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Corvis received extra attention from investors because Vinod Khosla, a Kleiner Perkins general partner, has a good track record with fiber-optic companies. Khosla backed Juniper Networks Inc. (stock: JNPR) and Redback Networks Inc. (stock: RBAK), and he co-founded Sun Microsystems. It doesn't hurt that Corvis president and CEO David R. Huber is the former chief technology officer and founder of Ciena Corp.

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