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VA Linux IPO soars almost 700%

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VA Linux Systems' share value today rose nearly 700% following its initial public offering, setting a record for a first-day percentage gain on Wall Street.

VA Linux, which started the day with an offer price of $30, saw its shares rise to a high of $320 before closing at $239.25, up a whopping 697.5 %, on a volume of 7.68 million shares.

VA Linux distributes and services the open-source Linux operating system, which is seen by some as a potential alternative to Microsoft's Windows operating system. Linux is much less widely used than Windows, but has been touted by some as a strong, low-cost platform for Web servers.

"There is the belief that Linux will be the alternative operating system (to Windows) and that it has the potential for supplanting Microsoft," says Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies of San Jose.

Red Hat, another Linux distributor, went public Aug. 11 at $14 a share and has since seen its stock rise to $286.

VA Linux Systems, in Sunnyvale, Calif., is at +1-408-542-8600, or at http://www.valinux.com.

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