REUTERS: Shares of Albertsons Cos Inc reversed course in their U.S. market debut during early trading on Friday, after opening 3per cent lower than their initial public offering price.
Shares of the supermarket operator now up 1.4per cent at US$16.22, giving the company a valuation of US$9.4 billion.
Albertsons on Thursday said it sold 50 million shares in the IPO at US$16 apiece, missing its target of 65.8 million, and raised US$800 million. The shares were earlier marketed at US$18-US$20 apiece.
The company ended the IPO market's longest streak of days without a single deal pricing below targeted range since 2009, according to Renaissance Capital, which tracks IPOs.
The COVID-19 pandemic gave a boost to Albertsons' revenue as consumers stocked up on food during lockdowns. Sales in March and most of April were up 34per cent from a year earlier. The scaling back of the IPO, however, indicated investor skepticism.
Rival supermarket chain Kroger Co said last week the surge in demand for essential goods it saw during the coronavirus outbreak was fading, as American households reconsider their needs.
Albertsons' IPO was a culmination of multiple attempts by its private equity owner Cerberus Capital Management LP to cash out. Following the debut, Cerberus will own around 31.9per cent of the company.
(Reporting by C Nivedita and Joshua Franklin; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)