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The fitness wearable company Fitbit will begin selling its stock on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday at a price of $20 per share, a dollar more than the $17-$19 range the company had previously announced.
Consequently, the San Francisco-based company will raise $732 million in the IPO, reports The New York Times. Had the share price been set at $19, the company would have made only $695 million.
The company will sell 36.6 million shares in total. The $20 share price puts Fitbit at a valuation of $4.1 billion. Fitbit’s shares will sell under the symbol FIT.
Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and BofA Merrill Lynch are taking Fitbit public.
During the run-up to an IPO the company and its investors do an intricate dance with institutional investors to determine the demand and pricing of the stock. The fact that Fitbit ended up pricing its shares at a buck above the range stated in earlier regulatory filings may indicate strong demand among investors, and a confidence that the stock price will continue rising after trading starts.
It also indicates that investors believe the fitness tracker business will remain strong well into the future.
Fitbit reported earnings of $131.8 million last year after losing roughly $52 million the year before. Sales of its fitness trackers and other products tripled during 2014 to $745.4 million.
Meanwhile Juniper Research forecasts that the number of fitness trackers out in the wild will triple to more than 70 million in 2018.
Still, risks exist. One is the rise of smartwatches, many of which contain all or most of the features offered by fitness trackers plus many more communication and productivity features that fitness trackers don’t have.
Fitbit currently controls more than 60 percent of the market share for fitness trackers. It identifies its chief competitors as Adidas, Garmin, Jawbone, Misfit, and Under Armour.
The IPO comes at a time when Fitbit is the target of two lawsuits from rival Jawbone — one for patent infringement, and another for employee poaching and secret stealing. Fitbit says that it’s innocent of any charges and will fight the lawsuits vigorously.
Fitbit’s product line includes the Fitbit Surge, FitbitCharge HR, Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit Zip and Fitbit One activity trackers, and the Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. The products are carried in more than 30,000 North American retail stores, Fitbit says, and in another 15,000 stores in 53 other countries.
Fitbit’s existing investors include Foundry Group, Qualcomm Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Softbank Capital, SoftTech VC, and True Ventures.
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