Party City shares jump by al­most 22 per­cent in stock mar­ket de­but

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

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.

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