There's still some love out there for Chinese growth stocks.
Sina Weibo (NASDAQ: WB ) finally went public on Thursday. The country's leading microblogging platform looked like it was heading for a rocky debut. It had to settle for pricing its shares at $17, at the bottom of its initial $17 to $19 price range. Underwriters and their clients may have had their doubts, but the market itself had a more favorable opinion. Despite Weibo's monetization concerns and fears about online censorship in China, the stock took off on its first day of trading.
Shares of Weibo traded as high $24.48 -- up 41% -- shortly after the open. It gave back a good chunk of those gains to settle at $20.24, but that's still a 19% pop on its first day of trading. That certainly isn't too shabby for a stock that underwriters were willing to let go in the teens. The disconnect means that Weibo left some money on the table, but that's probably a small price to pay in exchange for not hitting the market as a busted IPO.
Weibo shares will likely be volatile, but at least the fluctuations paid off for those fortunate enough to get in at $17 a share on Thursday.
Briefly in the news
And now let's look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- Nike (NYSE: NKE ) is reportedly getting out of the wearable computing market. CNET reports that Nike's letting go of its FuelBand hardware team. It will focus on software solutions for other devices.
- Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) introduced a new "Nearby Friends" feature as an optional tool for folks hoping to discover, well, nearby friends, using their smartphone GPS tracking. It's going to seem creepy to many people, but that's why it's optional.
- Fresh off a strong quarter where comps soared 13.4%, Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG ) told analysts it plans to raise prices for the first time in three years to offset rising food costs. That's a good thing, since the market didn't like to see margins contract despite the top-line success during the first quarter.
- Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU ) was a laggard in mobile a year ago, but timely acquisitions and new initiatives are making China's leading search engine a force in the smartphone boom. Baidu on Tuesday announced Baidu Wallet, a mobile payments platform. It's already a crowded niche in China, but Baidu has proved over the past year that it can make up for lost time.
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