Uber has done something that few other big technology companies can claim: open below its initial public offering price.
Shares of the ride-sharing company began trading Friday at $42 a share, down 6.7 percent, and finished the day at $41.57, well below the $45 at which it sold shares to investors late Thursday.
How a stock trades in its debut is often used to gauge the success of the offering and investor sentiment about a company. If a stock falls below its I.P.O. price on the first day or even in the weeks that follow, the offering is considered a flop — a red flag that investors have concerns about a company’s outlook.
It can also put a chill on the I.P.O. market, making investors wary of buying into other big deals to come.
Such debuts don’t happen that often to big, hotly anticipated listings. Since 2000, only 18 companies valued at more than $1 billion had begun trading below their I.P.O. price, according to Dealogic. The last was a Chinese electric carmaker, Nio, which opened in September down 4 percent.
Instead, shares of companies typically “pop” in their public market debuts. On average, technology companies have risen 41 percent on their first day of trading over the past 24 years.
Uber’s share performance capped several months of falling expectations for its offering. Investment bankers floated a valuation of $120 billion last fall. A month ago, Uber suggested to some investors that its stock sale might value it at up to $100 billion. About two weeks ago, Uber set an expected price range that would value it at up to $91 billion.
Then on Wednesday, the guidance seemed to be that it would be priced in the bottom half of its offering range. On Thursday, it sold the shares at a $82.4 billion valuation, and by Friday’s close, investors were valuing Uber at $76.5 billion. That was not far above the $76 billion that private investors had valued it at in August.
Still, Uber is hardly the first company to stumble in its first days, weeks or months of trading. Here are some others that didn’t live up to the early hype.
Facebook: Unlike Uber, the social network pushed its offering price, and its valuation, higher in the days before it went public in May 2012. But a trading glitch, along with underwhelming investor demand, caused its shares to stumble out of the gate. The stock opened up 11 percent, but that gain quickly faded. It was down 13 percent a week later and 31 percent a year later.
Things changed for Facebook, though. It crossed above its I.P.O. price a little over a year after its debut, and its shares currently trade at about five times that price.
Snap: The trading debut of the Snapchat parent in March 2017 was among the most highly anticipated in recent years. The stock opened up 41 percent, closed the first day with a 44 percent gain and a month later remained 32 percent above its I.P.O. price.
But dismal financial results and struggles to add and keep users began to wipe away the stock gain. A year after Snap went public, the stock was essentially trading at its I.P.O. price, and today its shares are nearly 40 percent below the I.P.O. price.
Zynga and Groupon: The two companies’ offerings received plenty of fanfare in 2011, but their performances diverged on their first day. Groupon, the online coupon company, surged 30 percent, while Zynga, which makes games for social media platforms, finished down 5 percent. That divergence didn’t last. Within a year, both had tumbled — 81 percent and 75 percent below their I.P.O. prices — as worries about their financial performance increased.