By Allison Prang
Shares of Casper Sleep Inc. closed about 13% higher on their first day of trading Thursday, a day after the mattress-seller priced its IPO at the lower end of its expected price range.
Shares closed at $13.50 a share, higher than the company's public offering price of $12 a share. The stock opened above its IPO price Thursday at $14.50 a share and reached an intraday high of $15.85 a share.
Those gains, however, were after the company cut its public offering price. Casper's public offering price of $12 a share Wednesday was well below its initial range of $17-to-$19 a share, and at the low end of the $12-to-$13 a share range it set Wednesday morning.
The company has a valuation of about $535 million, based on its number of common shares outstanding before any options were exercised by the offering underwriters and also on Thursday's closing price. Casper had been valued at $1.1 billion in a private funding round early last year.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Philip Krim declined to comment specifically on the company's price cut in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Thursday. Mr. Krim said he has watched the turmoil in the IPO market, but it isn't something the company is focused on.
"Today's a really exciting milestone," Mr. Krim said.
Casper, founded back in 2014, reported a larger loss for the first nine months of 2019 versus the comparable period a year prior, but revenue rose. The company's loss grew almost 5% to $67.4 million, while revenue rose 20% to $312.3 million.
Mr. Krim on Thursday said Casper is focused on profitability and its operating leverage improved in 2019.
Casper, which sells foam mattresses online and delivers them through the mail, went public during a touchy time for IPOs. Investors have grown more tepid toward highly-valued startups that burn through money, and some companies in 2019 nixed their plans to go public, including the parent of WeWork, the coworking space company, and Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., the owner of the Miss Universe Pageant and the biggest talent agency in Hollywood.
Endeavor pulled its own IPO plans after shares of Peloton Interactive Inc., the exercise-bike company, struggled on their first day of trading on public markets. The stocks of ride-share companies Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., which both went public last year, have also traded below the prices at which they went public.
Casper was selling 8.35 million common shares in its IPO. The company said it gave an option for underwriters to buy as many as 1.25 million shares for overallotments.
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