Arista shares don’t disappoint on strong opening day

Arista's Andy Bechtolsheim at GigaOM RoadMap 2011

Arista Networks’  closely watched IPO met expectations Friday with the company’s shares soaring 27.9 percent to $55 from their open price of $43.

The company, which pitches super-fast “SDN-friendly” networking hardware running its Extensible Operating System (EOS) software, has name-brand customers and actually logged a profit of $42.5 million on sales of $361 million last year.

The Santa Clara, Calif. company was founded by Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, Kenneth Duda and David Cheriton. And the run-up to the IPO was marred by news that Optumsoft, a company also launched by Cheriton, was suing Arista for breach of breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets related to EOS. There was also a little dustup over improper use of friends and family shares that were offered to reporters.

But that didn’t dampen enthusiasm if the company’s opening day is any indication. Shares were off slightly 0.04 percent to $54.96 in after-hours trading.

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Chart courtesy of Yahoo Finance

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