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IPO Watch: CarGurus Accelerates On First Lap

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Shares of CarGurus Inc. (CARG) surged more than 80% in its initial public trading on Thursday, making it the best-performing U.S. IPO so far this year.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based online marketplace for new and used vehicles sold 9.4 million shares at $16 per share, raising $150 million. The pricing was above the company's earlier plan to sell shares at $13 to $15 price range.

On Thursday, the stock opened on Nasdaq at $29 per share and closed the day slightly lower, at $27.58.

In its IPO prospectus released last month, the company said it had an active dealer network of more than 40,000 dealers as of June. According to the firm, its more than 5.4 million car listings are the most available on major U.S. online automotive marketplaces.

The company generated a profit $8.6 million, or $0.08 per share in the first six months of 2017, compared to $521 thousand or $0.01 per share last year. Revenues were $143 million for the January-to-June period, compared with $80 million a year ago. The company employs over 500 people, according to SEC filings.

CarGurus had more than 25 million average monthly unique users in the U.S. and overseas as of June, compared to more than 21 million users in all of 2016.

The founder and Chief Executive Officer of CarGurus, Langley Steinert, is a co-founder of TripAdvisor Inc. Steinert is the largest shareholder of the company. As per earlier SEC filings, he would control an estimated 53 percent of the voting power of the company's outstanding stock after the IPO.

According to Dealogic, CarGurus' IPO is the best-performing U.S. IPO so far this year in terms of the offer-to-opening trade.

Among recent IPOs, Snap Inc.'s shares rose 41% on their first day of trade, while the most recent tech IPO of Switch Inc. gained 21.9% on its public debut. Roku Inc. gained almost 68% in its trading debut.

by RTT Staff Writer

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