Investors will be sure to tune into the much-ballyhooed spectacle of a technology IPO Wednesday, with the advent of a nearly $1 billion deal from disk drive maker Seagate. But it was clear late Tuesday that the enthusiasm apparent in the company's road show had ebbed, with the deal pricing below expectations. Seagate, which will trade under the ticker STX, had planned to offer 72.5 million shares at a price of between $13 and $15 per share. However, a source at one of the underwriters said late Tuesday that the deal had priced at only $12 a share, following concern that the deal could come in as low as $11 per share. "Nobody is going to stick their neck out and try and look tough-macho and risk capital losses in this market," said the source, referring to the fact that the underwriters were unlikely to have used their own capital to prop up the deal to support a higher price. Investors are in "show-me mode," says William Smith, president of Renaissance Capital, an independent research firm in Greenwich, Conn., alluding to the low pricing. "This is an industry that in the past has had a very storied history of imploding on itself." Another concern: After being taken private for $1.8 billion in 2000, Seagate's market value now stands at close to $6.8 billion. "That's a lot of increase in value," says Smith. Still, he gives Seagate credit for gaining share and staying profitable in a tough period. Seagate's return to the public market comes after it was taken private in 2000 by a group of investors headed by Silver Lake Partners. Boosters have talked up the turnaround story for both the company and the tough industry it operates in. In its prospectus, Seagate says it's gained new momentum in profits after a few rough years in the late '90s. Since 1998, it's embarked on a tough restructuring campaign, closing 14 facilities and halving its staff with a punishing layoff of 40,000 employees. At the same time Seagate has undertaken a makeover, the dynamics for its industry have improved in the wake of major consolidation. As recently as three years ago, five players jostled for space in the disk drive business, leading to aggressive pricing that socked profits. Since then, two companies have dropped out, with Fujitsu exiting the business and IBM ( IBM) selling its interests to Hitachi.