Transmeta 's stock value plummets

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Transmeta 's stock value plummets

Original investors in chipmaker Transmeta, which went public six months ago, jumped at the chance to bail out yesterday as 109 million shares were released from lock-up restrictions. Nearly 33 million shares traded hands - up more than three times the daily average. However, one industry analyst cautioned that the selling frenzy might be an indication of market jitters rather than anything to do specifically with Transmeta.

The restrictions forbade shares to be sold for a certain period of time by those linked to the company in some way - for example, employees, founders, venture-capital investors - who have bought on the opening day of an initial public offering.

Transmeta (TMTA) opened on the Nasdaq yesterday at $14.57 (£10.17), but dropped $3.40 during the day to close at $11.17. Until Monday, the company's daily share-trading average for the past three months was 956,590 shares.

But investors should not be too quick to pass judgment on Transmeta based on yesterday's trading, said Dean McCarron, an analyst with US-based Mercury Research. "There are two dynamics involved: people's opinions of Transmeta as a company and people's opinions of the market."

Given the state of the industry in general, it is impossible to tell which of the two factors is motivating investor behaviour at this point, he said.

In related news, Transmeta announced that Japan's Toshiba has chosen Transmeta's 600MHz Crusoe processor to use in its Libretto mini-notebook for the Japanese market.

Transmeta's processors are used in a range of portable computers from Sony's Picturebook, which uses a 667MHz Crusoe chip, to Casio Computer's Cassiopeia notebooks in Japan.

In March, Transmeta announced that its chips, together with those of rival Intel, are being used in trial versions of Microsoft's Tablet PCs.

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