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Arista up 32% on IPO

Mitch Wagner

Switch vendor Arista shares traded up more than 32% early Friday afternoon following an IPO, placing the company value at $2.98 billion. That's likely based on the company's strong financials, and it's despite a weird legal dispute with a co-founder.

Shares in the Santa Clara, Calif., company traded at $56.80 at 1:05 p.m. EDT on the New York Stock Exchange Friday under the symbol ANET. Arista Networks Inc. launched Friday morning with an IPO price of $43 per share for 5.25 million shares, raising $225.8 million. That's well above the expected price range of $36 to $40.

Arista, which peddles Gigabit Ethernet switches and data center software, has 6% market share, putting it No. 2 behind Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), according to MKM Partners. Arista's compound annual growth rate for revenue was 71% from 2010 to 2013, with 2010 revenues of $71.7 million growing to $193.4 million in 2002, and then up 87% to $361.2 million in 2013. Profits grew from $2.4 million in 2010 to $42.5 million.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is a major customer, accounting for 22% of revenue in 2013. Other customers include Facebook , Citigroup , Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), ESPN, and Rackspace (NYSE: RAX). MKM expects Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) to become a major customer as well. (See Summer: Cloudy With a Chance of Tech IPOs.)

The company formed in 2004 as Arastra with $100 million in funding from two founders, chief development officer and chairman Andy Bechtolsheim and chief scientist David Cheriton. Ken Duda, CTO and senior VP of software engineering, was the other founder. The company changed its name to Arista Networks in 2008. Its switches have become more popular in the past year or so, and the company claims to have more than 2,300 customers. (See Arista Announces Datacenter Switches.)

Arista competitors include Brocade, Cisco, Juniper,and Extreme Networks for business from data center operators, large enterprises, and telcos.

Co-founder Cheriton quit the Arista board March first and founded Optumsoft, which sent a letter to Arista in November claiming ownership of "certain components of our EOS network operating system incorporated in all of our products pursuant to the terms of a 2004 agreement between the companies," and cited "breaches of certain confidentiality and use restrictions in that agreement." (See Arista Faces Legal Challenge as It Files for $200M IPO .)

The successful IPO marks the first signs of a stabilization of technology IPOs following a rough April.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

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User Rank: Blogger
6/9/2014 | 5:15:12 PM
Re: Cisco
I agree about the networking market being up for grabs. I think we have talked about Dell and Brocade quite a bit as the main companies positioning for a bigger piece of that action vs. Cisco and Juniper, but Arista deserves attention there, too.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
6/6/2014 | 4:17:48 PM
Plexxi co-founder Mat Matthews sends the following email comment:

"The strong interest in the Arista IPO suggests that investors believe there is market share up for grabs in the networking industry."


"Arista's IPO demonstrates the viability of hardware and the robustness of Ethernet switching in a space that has been saying for years that hardware is going away."

Interesting perspective. Is Cisco vulnerable?

AANT is trading at 54.80 at 4:09 pm EDT in after-hours trading. That's down from when I filed this article, which was down from when I started it -- AANT was up 35% then. 


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