Nearly one full week after its initial public offering, Lyft is battling to avoid joining Facebook as a much-hyped float that is sitting in the red five sessions after its first trade. Up 2.5 per cent at $71.56 in morning trade on Thursday, shares in the lossmaking company now sit ⅓ of 1 per cent below its listing price of $72 as it struggles to overcome some of the highest levels of shorting seen for a newly listed company. Winding the clock back to the ride-hailing company’s first day of trade on March 29, shares settled 8.7 per cent higher than the IPO price, some way off a maximum intraday advance of 23.1 per cent. Although that sounds solid, Lyft’s first-day advance lags the performance of other notable tech or big-name IPOs. On their first days, Snap, parent company of social media app Snapchat, and Twitter settled 44 per cent and 72.7 per cent higher than their float prices. Most recently, Levi Strauss, the well-known denim maker, finished nearly 32 per cent above its IPO price on its first day of trade on March 21. The stock is up 29.1 per cent over its first 11 sessions as a public company. Lyft shares took a tumble in subsequent days, drawing them closer in comparison to Facebook, whose shares flopped in the wake of its 2012 IPO. Five sessions after floating, Facebook stock was down 13.1 per cent from its float price. Versus a handful of other notable tech floats, Facebook stands out as the only company to be in negative territory one month (defined as 20 trading sessions) after listing, down 21 per cent and comfortably in a bear market. Much like the social network’s drop at the time prompted investors to reassess the company’s prospects and the broader outlook for the primary market, Lyft’s muddled debut could have implications for other so-called tech “unicorns” that are coming to market this year, most notably that of direct rival Uber. Over the past five sessions, the S&P 500 is up 2.2 per cent while the Nasdaq Composite, on which Lyft is listed, is up 2.8 per cent. But Lyft bulls need not despair: Having closed positive on their first day of trading, Facebook took just over 300 sessions to recover to its listing price. Despite the rough start, the stock is now up some 366 per cent from its IPO price.



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