Advanced Logic Research, an Irvine personal computer maker, has been contemplating a public stock offering for some time, and it appears to have decided that the moment is right. ALR President Gene Lu is noncommittal, saying only that an initial public offering might be made "very soon."
But does very soon mean within a couple days, or maybe a week at the outside? "I think my understanding of very soon is close to other peoples' (understanding)," Lu said Monday, chuckling at his own circuitous language. But the company has not yet filed its preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A local broker says ALR, whose majority owner is the Singapore conglomerate Wearnes Technology, has retained Smith Barney to co-underwrite the stock offering.
Meantime, ALR has been pushing ahead its basic business of building very fast personal computers. The company has announced new PCs that will use the newest and fastest version of Intel Corp.'s state-of-the-art i486 microprocessor, including one which was touted as the first to use the fastest i486 in conjunction with IBM's Micro Channel personal computer architecture.
The new ALR machines, priced between $11,990 and $17,990, are scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 1990. David Kirkey, vice president of sales, said he is confident the company will meet that date.
Intel has been having some problems with the i486 processors, but Kirkey said ALR is not subject to these difficulties because of the unique way it configures the chips. Like many ALR products, the new Powercache computers are aimed directly at high-end machines marketed by Compaq Computer--in this case the Compaq Systempro, which ALR calls comparable to the Powercache but $8,000 more expensive.
ALR got another chance to needle its larger rival last week by signing up the former Compaq distributor in Austria. Although international sales currently account for only 10% of ALR revenue, Kirkey said, the company hopes to boost foreign sales closer to the industry average of 25% to 30%. Agreements also have been reached with European subsidiaries of Softsel, a personal computer products wholesaler, for distribution of ALR computers in the United Kingdom and West Germany.