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Upside: Red Hat CEO still betting on the long shot

Nov 08, 2000, 12:24 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Catherine Liden Traugot)

"...Probably perfect, then, that its CEO comes with a strong marketing background. All the better to stay unfrazzled as investors alternately praise it as the next Microsoft (MSFT) or dump its stock as though it were a candidate for delistment."

"Red Hat isn't Microsoft, though -- nor is it flirting with stock market demise. After reaching a high of $300 a share before splitting 2-for-1, Red Hat is trading in the teens. It has yet to turn a profit. It hasn't had a chief financial officer since Hal Covert left for Silicon Graphics (SGI ) in July. And with revenue expected to run about $84 million for the year, its market capitalization of $1.7 billion has always seemed, well, sky high."

"But what the company is trying to do -- make the open source Linux operating system an industry standard rather than a hacker's fantasy operating system -- fuels a kind of romantic aura that hard data doesn't stand a chance of defusing. Not to mention the whole knocking-Microsoft-off-its-perch thing."

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