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The Company Chat: A Look at Levi’s Pair of IPO’s

On March 21, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was full of traders wearing denim jackets and blue jeans. No, it wasn’t casual Friday (in fact, it was a Thursday). The occasion for breaking their strict dress code? Levi Strauss, the iconic jeans maker, was going public after a 30-year hiatus from the markets.

In a season of roller coaster initial public offerings (IPOs) for upstarts, like Lyft and Uber, the 165 year-old brand had a more streamlined debut. Levi Strauss shares soared 30% in the first day of trading, increasing from $17 to more than $22 per share.

(The company’s bankers had initially advised Levi to price its shares even lower, between $14 and $16, apparently underestimating Wall Street’s demand.) The company’s valuation surged from $6.6 billion to $8.7 billion as a result.

In all, the company offered 36.7 million shares , raising $623.3 million, in the offering. Fittingly, it is trading under the ticker symbol “LEVI.” As of mid-June 2019 , the share price was at $21.49 with a market capitalization of $8.4 billion.

The Levi’s brand has stood the test of time (who doesn’t love a pair of 501 jeans?). Here’s a bit of background about this company’s colorful history and why it went public, then private—then public again.

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A Look at the Slack IPO

Slack Technologies, Inc. is a game-changing and familiar company that’s been making waves around Silicon Valley and across the globe. With that, it’s no surprise that their upcoming IPO is cause for some buzz in the investment world.

Some of you might even be logged into Slack right now. If you’re not already familiar with the company, it provides a cloud-based messaging and file-sharing service that facilitates workplace collaboration. You can think of it as a hub that replaces email.

Anyone that’s ever worked on a project with a team of people while at work knows that email doesn’t always get the job done. Email is one-sided, and conversations can become buried under the pile of junk that constantly pollutes our inboxes. And most importantly, it is not conducive to a fluid conversation between a group of people.

The need for such a service was clearly there. Slack filled that void and has subsequently seen success, and is now taking the company public.

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Upcoming June IPO’s

So far, 2019 has been a banner year for IPOs, and it’s been an exciting ride. Some companies, like Beyond Meat have seen their share prices skyrocket, while other tech darlings haven’t fared so well. Here’s a look at some of this month’s IPO offerings, including the much-anticipated public introduction of Slack.

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The Lyft IPO: What Happened and What to Do Next

When ride-sharing app Lyft went public with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) March 28, 2019 , the story was probably supposed to follow the same script as other tech unicorn companies (think Facebook and Etsy).

For these companies, the IPO meant a big cash raise and the debut of stocks that would surge in value. Facebook raised over $16 billion its first day and is currently trading around $190 a share. Etsy opened at $16 and nearly doubled the first day.

The IPO, the first time publicly traded stocks are offered for sale, can be a time of hope and celebration. Founders and early investors are hoping to make money, and individual investors have the opportunity to finally buy a share of a company they’re passionate about.

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The Company Chat: IPO Boom of 2019

Industry insights, IPO updates, and fun facts about some of the world’s favorite firms.

So far, you might describe 2019 as the year of the unicorn companies. These are startup companies valued over $1 billion, and many of them—like Lyft, Beyond Meat, and Zoom—are hitting the market for the first time. But what’s driving this current trend in IPOs, and will it continue?

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