GoDaddy’s life as a public company is off to a roaring start after shares popped 30 percent a few hours into its market debut Wednesday. The Web-hosting company, which priced its shares at $20 on Tuesday night, was trading slightly above $26 by late morning. That’s well above the $17 to $19 range that GoDaddy set for itself in an amended initial public offering filing in mid-March. The broader market was edging down, with the Dow and the NASDAQ both off a fraction of a percent. GoDaddy, which is trying to shed a sleazy, immature image, looks pretty grown up right now.
GoDaddy has spent the better part of a decade working toward an IPO. In August 2006, the company pulled its first attempt at going public amid a turbulent market. GoDaddy filed new paperwork last June, but then settled into a waiting pattern as the tech sector steadily sold off and other companies, like cloud storage startup Box, repeatedly delayed their own debuts. That GoDaddy has finally gone public and is receiving such an enthusiastic response from investors is a double victory.
On the other hand, the first day of GoDaddy’s public trading is just that—the first day. Box and Lending Club, a peer-to-peer finance company, also enjoyed significant share-price jumps in their recent market debuts. Since then, though, both stocks have fallen. Lending Club is down about 20 percent from where it closed on its Dec. 11 market debut and has tumbled 30 percent from the high of $27.90 it hit a few days later. Box’s share price has slipped 19 percent from the $23.23 it closed at after its Jan. 23 debut. GoDaddy is up a ton right now. The question is, can it stay there?