DTS Launching IPO

Digital Theater Systems Inc hopes to get a financial boost through an initial public offering of stock to take place later this year.

On Friday, April 24, DTS filed a preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission in a move that could raise as much as $60 million. DTS provides surround sound technology to film studios, productions companies, movie theaters, video production plants, and consumer electronics companies.

DTS surround tracks are found on many commercial DVDs, and the company's system has a loyal following among a minority of home theater fans and among some film industry luminaries. Even so, since its origin in 1990 the Agoura Hills, CA–based company has played perpetual second chair to San Francisco's Dolby Laboratories. Universal Studios made a substantial investment in DTS in 1993, buying a 17.9% stake. That year's monster hit Jurrassic Park featured the first DTS surround soundtrack.

Last year, DTS reported revenues of $41 million and net income of $4.4 million, a big leap from the $28.6 million and $2.1 million reported respectively in 2001. DTS said it plans to use the capital from the IPO to redeem all outstanding shares, and for expansion of research and development and sales and marketing. The prospectus filed with the SEC did not mention how many shares would be issued or a share price. If approved by the SEC, DTS would be listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol "DTSI."