Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Spotify Shares Make Debut in Choppy Markets

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Delores Daniels | 04 April, 2018, 01:12

Spotify, the largest music streaming service in the world, debuted in the United States stock markets today and they made their debut at $132 per share which makes the company worth more than $20 billion. The price first settled at around $160, then continued to slowly fall until closing at $149.01 with over 28.66 million shares sold.

A reference price has been set at $132 per share, but actual trading prices could vary widely for the Swedish streaming behemoth, depending on the buy and sell orders collected by the stock exchange from broker-dealers.

Case in point: Dropbox, another mature but unprofitable billion-dollar tech company facing a similarly daunting list of rivals, is up more than 40% from its IPO last month.

Spotify went public on Tuesday through a so-called direct listing. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the iPhone maker could overtake Spotify in the U.S.as soon as this summer.

Spotify going public comes at an interesting time. The company said it brought in about $5 billion in revenue in 2017, up 39% year over year, and a net loss of about $1.5 billion. And it believes it has more than twice as many paying customers as its closest competitor, Apple Music according to SEC filings.

A $10,000 investment in Netflix's 2002 initial public stock offering would now be worth more than $2.6 million, leaving some investors wondering if Spotify might be on a similar trajectory in music streaming.

Ek said his company made a decision to skip the IPO phase because he wasn't interested in "the pomp and circumstance".

Today's listing was what's called a direct listing, which is a speedier and less expensive process compared to an initial public offering.

Spotify chose the direct listing method in part to ensure that employees and longtime shareholders could sell stock on day one if they choose.

In February, the shares were valued at about $20 billion based on private stock transactions among existing investors.

Spotify Technology SA also is making its Wall Street debut in an unconventional way. The opening price puts the company's value at almost $30bn, making it one of the largest USA listings for a tech company in history. It is unclear how many shares insiders will offer up for sale or how much demand there will be for them, market experts say. That could make it even more hard for investors to settle on the right price for Spotify's stock, they say. Looking ahead, Spotify recently claimed that its paid subscriber base may grow to upwards of 96 million users by the end of 2018.

Spotify has also warned that after not using a bank underwriter, its stock price could be more volatile than normal during the first day of trading.

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