Briefs: SAS Plans IPO

FRAMINGHAM (04/18/2000) - SAS Plans IPO

Data warehouse software vendor SAS Institute Inc. in Cary, North Carolina, will pursue an initial public offering in the next 12 to 18 months. Jim Goodnight, SAS co-founder and CEO, said last week the company will go public in order to reward current employees and attract new ones with stock options. The 24-year-old firm is the world's largest privately held software firm, with more than $1 billion in revenue last year and 3,500 employees.

SEC Postpones Switch

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided to postpone its planned July 3 move from fraction to decimal stock pricing. The agency hasn't set a new date for the changeover. The SEC said it based its decision on the National Association of Securities Dealers Inc.'s (NASD) request to postpone the date because of the Nasdaq Stock Market's current inability to handle the extra traffic generated by the switch. Separately, NASD last week overwhelmingly approved a proposal to spin off Nasdaq.

Energy Firms Launch Online Exchange

A consortium of six of the top 10 U.S. energy companies are partnering to launch an Internet-based trading exchange for gas, electricity and other energy-related commodities by year's end. The exchange will be open to all wholesale energy companies and compete with other energy-related electronic marketplaces, including those from Enron Corp. and Altra Energy Technologies Inc., both in Houston. The exchange will initially trade natural gas and electricity, then expand to include natural gas liquids, coal, crude oil and other commodities.

IBM Builds Tiny Drive

IBM has developed a hard drive the size of a postage stamp for use in Microsoft Corp.'s PocketPC hardware. IBM will initially offer a 340MB microminiature hard drive for use in PocketPC hardware. Later this year it will introduce a 1GB hard drive, said industry sources who have tested the PocketPC models.

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