Ashton-Tate is withdrawing a previously announced public offering of about 2 million shares of stock, the company said Monday.
The Torrance-based software developer said it was reacting to the recent volatility in its shares. "We want to get the appropriate amount of money for our stock and we want our investors to feel they've paid a fair price," said Stanley P. Witkow, Ashton-Tate's general counsel. Witkow said the company had not determined when the offering might be made.
The company's stock closed up 50 cents at $24 a share in heavy trading Monday in the over-the-counter market. In the first three months of the year, the stock price has bounced between $21.25 and $29. In an offering of 2 million shares, the difference between the high and low price would be $15.5 million.
Analyst Brian L. Mutert of Robertson, Colman & Stephens in San Francisco places the issue's value at $30 to $33 a share, based on a comparison to the leading software company, Lotus Development. Mutert said he believes that the primary reason for the withdrawal is that Ashton-Tate feels the price of its stock is too low now.