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Markets > IPOs
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Pru IPO gains 7%
graphic December 13, 2001: 12:10 p.m. ET

Insurer gains while Nassda surges 40% and Centene rises 23%.
By Luisa Beltran
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  • Pru IPO raises $3B - Dec. 12, 2001
  • IPO from NetScreen gains 48% on Nasdaq - Dec. 12, 2001
  • Prudential's $3B IPO leads slew of new issues - Dec. 8, 2001
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    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Prudential Financial Inc. was one of a trio of IPOs to gain Thursday, with the insurer rising by nearly 7 percent. Nassda Corp., a designer of chip software, surged 40 percent, while the offering from Centene Corp. rose as nearly 23 percent.

    Shares of Prudential (PRU: Research, Estimates)  opened at $29.10 on the New York Stock Exchange, traded as high as $30 and closed at $29.30.

    Nassda (NSDA: Research, Estimates) opened at $15.25, surged to $17.21 and closed at $15.45. The offering from Centene (CNTE: Research, Estimates) began trading at $14.30, hit a high of $17.70 and ended at $17.20.

    So far this week, seven IPOs have gone public and four—including the offering from United Defense Industries Inc.--have yet to begin trading. A total of 11 new issues are slated to open this week, making it the strongest week for IPOs since October 2000.

    However, analysts were reluctant to claim that the IPO market had recovered. Only 17 companies have filed to go public in fourth quarter down from the 65 which filed last year during the same time, according to data from Dealogic.

    "To a limited degree IPOs are back," said analyst Steve Tuen of IPO Value Monitor. "But the volume is very small. We still have a ways to go."

    The success of the three deals, and NetScreen Technologies Inc.'s (NSCN: Research, Estimates) 48 percent gain on Wednesday, reveals that the market for new issues is improving, said analyst Kyle Huske, of IPO.com.

    "We are certainly off our bottom and have seen the worst of it," Huske said. "This is all part of momentum increasing in the IPO market."

    After this week's rally, new issues will close down for the traditional holiday break and will not reopen until late January or early February.

    A piece of the rock

    Newark, N.J.-based Prudential sold 110 million shares at $27.50 each, the mid-point of its expected range, via Goldman Sachs and Prudential Securities. The insurer had planned to sell 110 million shares at $25 to $30 each, 93.5 million in the United States and 16.5 million internationally.

    The $3 billion Prudential IPO ranks behind this year's $8.6 billion issue by Kraft Foods Inc. and the $4.1 billion issue by Agere Systems Inc.

    Nassda came in above expectations and raised $55 million. The company sold 5 million shares at $11 each, more than its $8 to $10 price range, via Robertson Stephens.

    Santa Clara, Calif.-based Nassda offers chip simulation technology for customers such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and Toshiba Corp.

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    Like Prudential, Nassda is profitable, with $22 million in revenue on $2 million in income this year versus $6.8 million in revenue and $1 million in income in 2000.

    In May, Synopys sued Nassda claiming the company's software violated a Synopys patent.

    Lastly, Centene, a provider of managed care services to people under Medicaid, also rose Thursday. Centene sold 3.5 million shares at $14 each, the mid-point of its $13 to $15 price range, via SG Cowen.

    St. Louis-based Centene targets low income consumers in Wisconsin, Indiana and Texas. The company is also in the black with $236.3 million in revenue on $9 million in income for the nine months ended Sept. 30. graphic

      RELATED STORIES

    Pru IPO raises $3B - Dec. 12, 2001

    IPO from NetScreen gains 48% on Nasdaq - Dec. 12, 2001

    Prudential's $3B IPO leads slew of new issues - Dec. 8, 2001





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