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Square skyrockets in debut despite concerns

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 01:21

Mobile payments company Square had a strong showing in its first day of trading at the NYSE despite concerns about valuation and the dual role of its leader, Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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Square got off to a solid start in its first day of trading at the New York Stock Exchange, rising over sixty percent at one point. The Jack Dorsey-led mobile payments company had many market watchers worried about whether the offering would even happen at all. Rapid Ratings Chairman and CEO James Gellert: SOUNDBITE: JAMES GELLERT, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, RAPID RATINGS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The pricing was delayed. They were anticipating an $11 to $13 range. They ended up pricing it at $9. Rumors were that, if it were to be closer to $8, they might have pulled the deal. And, I think, they might have even thought about pulling it at $9, but the implications to that would have been vast. " That's because, he says, Square is seen as a barometer for other so-called unicorns, private companies valued at over a billion dollars, which are considering going public. 2015 has been a tough year for public offerings. As of Wednesday, a quarter of U.S. IPOs this year priced below the expected range. Specific to Square's investment potential: concerns about competition in the mobile payments market, including Apple Pay and startups like Stripe. Amazon is considering jumping in. Also a concern: CEO Jack Dorsey's dual role. He also heads Twitter, where he is working to turn around user growth. Square is losing money, but its revenues grew 49 percent in the first nine months of the year. And Square has diversified, adding other services like lending and invoice software.

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Square skyrockets in debut despite concerns

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 01:21