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For Maxtor, A Nice Niche In Servers?


BusinessWeek Investor -- Inside Wall Street

For Maxtor, a Nice Niche in Servers?

Expect the stock of Maxtor (MXTR), a provider of hard disk drives for PCs, to catch fire soon--for two reasons: The company is poised to unveil, say some pros, an array of Web-enabling and Linux storage server products. And a major PC maker is said to be negotiating to buy Hyundai's 36% stake in Maxtor.

This month, says a big investor, the company will outline its entry into the storage server and network attached storage (NAS) markets. It will provide Web storage servers to Internet service providers and e-commerce companies, and Maxtor expects to sell them to the likes of Intel, Sun Microsystems, Dell, and Amazon.com.

Vince Carrino, president of Brookhaven Capital Management, who has a 5% stake in Maxtor, says this niche market will be hot. He expects Maxtor's sales in that business to grow from $30 million in 2000 to nearly $500 million in 2003. Other players in the business trade at 50 to 100 times 2000 revenues, vs. Maxtor's 23. The stock, now at 7 a share, is dirt cheap, says Carrino.

The PC maker seeking to buy Hyundai's 40% stake could be a powerful, deep-pocket partner for Maxtor in its fight with the bigger rivals and help fund its disk drive and Linux storage server business.By Gene G. MarcialReturn to top

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