* Third IPO in a row to have a first day "pop"
* Gains as much as 11.1 pct before receding
(Adds final share price of day, details on first day
By Phil Wahba
NEW YORK, April 15 Bridgepoint Education Inc
(BPI.N) shares finished their first day of trading on Wednesday
up 5.7 percent, following the college operator's initial public
offering, which priced below expectations.
The shares opened at $10.50 on the New York Stock Exchange
-- the same level at which they priced in Tuesday's IPO, or 30
percent below the midpoint of the deal's estimate range -- and
rose as much as 11.1 percent before closing at $11.10.
Its debut performance made Bridgepoint's IPO the third in a
row to see a first day "pop," or price jump.
San Diego-based Bridgepoint Education sold 13.5 million
shares, raising $141.75 million in the IPO, the third on a U.S.
exchange this year.
"Given the state of the market, investors will always be
looking for a discount," said Matt Therian, an analyst with
Connecticut-based research firm Renaissance Capital.
"It shows that a deal can get done, if it is priced
Bridgepoint, owned primarily by Warburg Pincus, also ended
the stock market's longest-ever span without a venture-capital
backed IPO, according to Thomson Reuters data. The last
venture-backed deal to go public was by technology company
Rackspace Hosting Inc RAX.N last August.
In a statement Wednesday, Bridgepoint said 74 percent of
the shares sold in the IPO were offered by selling
stockholders. In its last regulatory filing prior to the IPO,
Bridgepoint had said that figure would be 81 percent.
A Bridgepoint spokeswoman declined to comment.
The most recent college operator to go public, Grand Canyon
Education Inc (LOPE.O), which made its debut in November, also
had to lower its price estimate range and still saw its shares
immediately tumble 16 percent in the open market before
recovering, finishing 1 percent lower on their first day of
The Grand Canyon shares have since rallied and were up
about 22 percent on Wednesday over their $12 offer price.
The Bridgepoint IPO is the third in 2009. A fourth IPO, a
$100 million deal by Rosetta Stone Inc (RST.N), is set to price
Wednesday night and start trading on Thursday.
The shares of the first two deals in 2009 -- by infant
formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co (MJN.N) and Chinese
video game maker Changyou.com Ltd (CYOU.O) -- priced at the top
of their ranges and rose 10 percent and 25 percent,
respectively in their debuts.
The Bridgepoint IPO's underwriters, led by Credit Suisse
Group AG CSGN.VX and JP Morgan & Co (JPM.N), have the option
to buy up to 2.025 million additional shares to cover over
(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Brian Moss and Andre