Newport Corp., an Irvine maker of machines used to build fiber-optic components, said Thursday that the company and existing stockholders plan to sell 3.1 million shares.
The stock has climbed almost 16-fold in the past year on demand for equipment that automates the production of optical parts. But it dropped $13.69 a share Thursday to close at $82.44 in Nasdaq trading.
The company, which has 28.7 million shares outstanding, said in a press release that it has filed a regulatory report to sell 3 million shares and that existing stockholders filed to sell 100,000 shares.
"The stock doesn't trade a lot, and now the market has to absorb additional shares," said Doug MacKay, co-manager of the $1.3-billion Red Oak Technology Select Fund, which owns about 80,000 Newport shares. Stocks tend to sell off, he said, when additional shares are poised to come on the market.
Newport, which also sells chip-making equipment, plans to spend the proceeds from the stock offering on acquisitions, plant expansions and other investments that boost the company's manufacturing capacity.