* Shares rise as much as 30 percent
* Offering raises $660 million
Aug 9 (Reuters) - Shares of Frank's International NV, a provider of drilling equipment and services to Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp among others, soared 30 percent in the company's debut as investors bet on international growth.
The stock, which was one of the top percentage gainers on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, was trading at $26.12 by midday, valuing the company at about $4 billion.
International drilling activity has surged in recent months, while oil and gas exploration companies have cut back on spending in the United States due to weak gas prices in an oversupplied market.
International offshore drilling rig count rose to 320 from 287 in July from a year earlier, Baker Hughes Inc reported on Thursday.
"You've got a lot of new builds on the order. As those new builds come into the market, it's added opportunity for Frank's to win work and historically they have got a very high share of offshore jobs," Stephens Inc analyst Michael Marino said.
The company raised $660 million on Thursday after pricing its offering of 30 million shares at $22 each, above the expected range of $19 to $21 per share.
Frank's, with a presence in more than 60 countries, specializes in tubular services such as laying pipes in drill holes to extract oil and gas.
Frank's generates revenue either by renting out equipment for tubular services or by providing such services themselves. Total revenue jumped 43 percent in 2012 to $1.06 billion.
"It's a leader in the business, it's the largest in what it does... It was a relatively low-priced earnings multiple, it has a very good after-tax profit margin of about 25 percent, which is much higher than the competition," said Francis Gaskins, a partner at IPO research company IPODesktop.com.
Frank's IPO is the biggest offering this week that has seen as many as 10 listings.
IPO activity surged in the second quarter of 2013, as the volume of new listings far exceeded the previous quarter, according to IPO Watch, a quarterly survey of IPOs listed on U.S. stock exchanges by PwC US.
There were a total of 62 IPOs in the second quarter, almost double the listings in the first quarter.
Total proceeds raised during the second quarter were $13.1 billion, representing a sequential increase of 68 percent.
Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse Securities and Simmons & Company International were the lead underwriters to Frank's offering.
Frank's shares shot up to a high of $28.60 but eased a little by midday to trade up 18 percent at $26.12. As many as 8.3 million shares changing hands by 1140 ET.