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Cogent IPO Raises $216 Million

September 24, 2004|From Reuters and Times Staff Reports

South Pasadena-based Cogent Inc. raised $216 million in its initial public offering on Thursday, more than the company had expected, as the developer of fingerprint ID systems benefited from investor interest in homeland security stocks.

Cogent's underwriters said they sold 18 million shares at $12 each. Earlier in the day they raised the expected price range to $10 to $12 from $8.50 to $10.50.

The stock will begin trading on Nasdaq today under the symbol COGT.

Cogent provides fingerprint identification systems to the government and law enforcement agencies, allowing them to quickly compare a set of fingerprints to a database containing millions of prints.

Shares of companies involved in biometrics -- technology that identifies individuals based on biological traits -- have piqued investor interest in the current security-conscious environment.

Cogent had sales of $32.5 million in the first half of 2004 and has been profitable since 2002.

The company said in its regulatory filings that its auditors reported some "material weaknesses" in its internal controls, including its accounting system.

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