Rocket shares rise 19% on IPO debut

Published On: August 7, 2020Categories: Stocks & Shares1.7 min read

The Detroit-based parent of Quicken Loans sold 100 million shares, to raise $1.8 billion, which valued the company at around $36 billion

Shares of Rocket Cos. Inc. rose 19.5 percent to $21.51 following its debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker “RKT,” after opening at $18.00 a share, the same as its IPO price.

If I can borrow a line from [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos, ‘We’re in a get-rich-slow scheme here,’ with 35 years in, Gilbert told CNBC’s Squawk Box. It’s the right move for our company at this time; we have thousands of people working for the company and they’re shareholders now, which is a great thing.

The company sold 100 million shares, down from the 150 million it had planned for the IPO, to raise $1.8 billion, which valued the company at around $36 billion.

On Wednesday, Rocket Cos., the Detroit-based parent of mortgage lending giant Quicken Loans, reduced its bid to go public to $2 billion.

Last month, Gilbert sought an IPO for $3.3 billion and offered 150 million shares for $20 to $22 each, seeking to raise about $2 billion, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That would have valued Rocket at $43.7 billion.

CEO Jay Farner batted away a question about bringing the cool reception to the higher valuation.

We are pretty excited about where we’re at here, and as you know, this is art more than a science, he told the network.

Rocket’s lukewarm reaction to its initial plan to go public suggests that the company failed to convince investors that its mortgage platform business deserved higher than a $3 billion valuation, similar to the ones distributed by tech companies in Silicon Valley, Reuters reported.

You’re seeing a low-rate environment in conjunction with decreased (mortgage) applications, Michael Underhill, chief investment officer for Capital Innovations, the Wisconsin-based firm that invests in IPOs, told Reuters. So, investors are being very cautious, very surgical, and if it’s not a rock-solid business model, they’re not really interested in buying at the IPO.

Still, at an IPO price of $18, Rocket ranks as the third-largest U.S. listing of 2020, excluding blank-check companies, Reuters reports. Only Royalty Pharma, the New York-based biopharmaceutical company, and the New York’s global record label conglomerate Warner Music Group, had bigger stock market debuts this year.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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