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The value of Rand Capital Corp.'s investments rose by 2 percent during the third quarter, and the Buffalo venture capital firm also said Friday it may buy back up to 5 percent of its stock over the next year.

"We had a solid quarter," said Pete Grum, Rand's president.

The value of Rand's investments rose to $9.1 million, or $1.58 per share, at the end of September, up from $8.9 million, or $1.55 per share, at the end of June.

Rand's investments continue to be dominated by Advanced Digital Information Corp. stock, which it acquired when one of its investments, Ithaca data storage systems maker Pathlight Technologies, was purchased by ADIC earlier this year.

Rand currently owns 446,051 shares of ADIC stock, even after selling 70,000 shares of the Redmond, Wash.-based data storage systems maker during the quarter.

"We're still highly dependent on ADIC," Grum said, although the company eventually plans to sell its shares to raise capital that it can use to fund other investments. "We've sold some and we'll continue to sell some when the market is right."

Rand is valuing the ADIC stock it owns at $10 per share, even though the shares closed at $12.36 on Friday.

"By selling the ADIC shares, that gives us additional capital that we can deploy. We've got a lot of deals on our table," Grum said.

By authorizing the company to buy back up to 5 percent of its stock, Rand's directors gave management the flexibility to purchase its own shares when they feel the stock does not reflect the value of Rand's underlying investments.

"From time to time, we may have money and we may feel the best way to use that money is to buy our own shares," Grum said.

During the quarter, Rand also invested an additional $100,000 in Ultra-Scan Corp., an Amherst company that makes ultrasonic fingerprint scanning equipment. With the increased focus on security in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Grum said Ultra-Scan's technology could attract more customers.


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