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Ruckus Wireless shares fall in debut on higher pricing

Selina Lo (C), President and CEO of of Ruckus Wireless, applauds as her company's stock begins trading on the floor of the New York Stock Ex
Selina Lo (C), President and CEO of of Ruckus Wireless, applauds as her company's stock begins trading on the floor of the New York Stock Ex

By Avik Das

(Reuters) - WiFi products maker Ruckus Wireless Inc failed to impress in its market debut after higher pricing of its offering tempered investor enthusiasm in a weak U.S. IPO market.

Shares of the company fell as much as 8 percent in its debut on Friday, a day after it priced its initial public offering of 8.4 million shares at $15 per share, the top end of its range.

At that price, the company is valued at $126 million.

Ruckus Wireless Chief Executive Selina Lo shrugged off the share movement saying one day was not an indication of overall performance.

"The market wasn't very strong today," she said adding that while some companies had decided to pull their IPO's planned for this week, Ruckus had seen "tremendous interest" from investors and therefore decided to go ahead.

Lo said she was confident about growth for the company especially after much larger competitor Cisco Systems Inc earlier in the week said service-provider Wi-Fi grew almost 100 percent year-over-year.

Ruckus Wireless makes WiFi technology for corporate and service providers, helping them offload traffic from their cellular networks

Tech IPOs have shown widely different results this year. Social network Facebook has seen its value drop almost 50 percent since its IPO in May while network security company Palo Alto Networks and social software company Workday both showed strong market debuts.

"It's (Ruckus) an example of a company priced aggressively, rather than priced conservatively," said Jay Ritter, an IPO expert and professor of finance at University of Florida.

Investors remain cautious about the U.S. IPO market, which has seen a string of truncated issues, withdrawals, delayed offerings and weak debuts this year, and the market is not expected to improve anytime soon.

"The IPO market improvement would come from a fiscal deal worked out with the Congress," David Menlow, president of IPOfinancial.com, told Reuters.

Sunnyvale, California-based Ruckus, backed by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, filed for a $100 million IPO in October.

Goldman Sachs & Co, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank Securities are the lead underwriters to the offering, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ruckus recorded a net profit of $6.1 million, on revenue of $94 million for the six months ended June 30.

There have been numerous offerings that have been withdrawn and postponed and which send a very strong signal that investors have a discerning approach to many of these offerings.

The company competes with Meru Networks Inc, Aruba Networks Inc and larger companies such as Cisco and Ericsson.

While Cisco reported better-than-expected results last week and pointed to a slow improvement of the U.S. market, it remained extremely cautious of Europe.

Net proceeds from the offering would be used for working capital expense and other general corporate purposes, Ruckus said.

Its customers include Time Warner Cable Inc, Towerstream Corp, Tikona Digital Networks, and Bright House Networks among others.

Shares of the company were down more almost 6 percent at $14.11 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

(Reporting by Avik Das and Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore, additional reporting by Nicola Leske in New York; Editing by Joyjeet Das, Anil D'Silva and M.D. Golan)

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