Party City shares jump by almost 22 percent in stock market debut
Shares of Party City jumped nearly 22 percent in their stock market debut Thursday.
The Elmsford, New York, company designs, sells and makes balloons, invitations, costumes and other party goods. It operates about 900 stores and sells its products in other retailers.
Party City raised about US$372 million in its initial public offering, selling 21.9 million shares at US$17 per share.
The stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PRTY.”
Shares of Party City Holdco Inc. rose US$3.70 to close at US$20.70 Thursday.
The New York company uses high-speed computers to buy and sell stocks, bonds and other assets. So-called high-frequency trading firms look to get a jump on competitors by using computers to analyze market data, and executing buy and sell orders in milliseconds. Complex super-fast computers and algorithms now account for a majority of stock trading volume.
Virtu raised about US$314.1 million in its initial public offering, selling 16.5 million shares at US$19 per share, the high point of its expected range.
High- speed trading has been under scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other agencies. A 2014 book, “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis, focused on the practice’s potential to give some firms an unfair advantage.
Virtu’s shares are listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “VIRT.” They rose US$3.18 to close at US$22.18 Thursday. They crossed US$23 earlier in the day. pected growth in the first quarter despite currency exchange rates that hampered sales.
The company that markets Nespresso capsules, KitKat bars and Perrier water also confirmed it expected around five percent growth this year.
It said sales rose 0.5 percent to 20.9 billion Swiss francs (US$21.8 billion), adding that currency exchange rates, especially the strong Swiss franc, trimmed reported sales by 4.5 percent.
But organic sales — the benchmark of Nestle’s performance — rose 4.4 percent, higher than the 4.1 percent forecast by analysts polled by the Swiss financial news service AWP.
“Our three-month sales growth was in line with expectations and driven by both real internal growth and pricing,” Nestle chief Paul Bulcke said.
Sluggish 2014 sales in Asia, Africa and North America continued into the beginning of this year, a situation Bulcke pledged to rectify.