clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Square Pops 24 Percent to $11.20 at Stock Market Open

A sign of investor demand, but the company leaves money on the table.

Bill Pugliano / Getty Images
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Payments company Square began trading at $11.20 a share on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning, marking a 24 percent pop over the $9 price institutional investors paid for the stock in its IPO. The stock soared to $14.10 a share in early trading, before closing at $13.07 Thursday afternoon.

Investors in Square’s last round of private financing, which valued Square at $6 billion, paid $15.46 per share. But the deal required Square to issue them new shares if the IPO price fell below $18.55. It did, costing Square 10.3 million shares.

Companies generally like to see some pop on the first day of trading, because it signals investor demand. But the $2.20 difference between Square’s IPO price and today’s opening price means the company left about $56 million on the table by selling 25,650,000 shares to institutional investors at $9 each.

Square raised about $231 million in the IPO. A nonprofit foundation started by Dorsey sold additional shares worth $12 million.

Square initially set its IPO price range at $11 to $13 a share, but institutional investors bargained the price down to $9. Square’s revenue, the vast majority of which comes from payment processing fees for retail businesses, is growing fast, but the company still records heavy losses. There are questions about how Square will eventually reach profitability and how CEO Jack Dorsey, who also is CEO of Twitter, will run two public companies at once.

Speaking of Dorsey, today is his birthday. He’s 39.

The post was updated to include Square’s closing price for Thursday.

This article originally appeared on