What happened

Shares of Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) popped as much as 28% early Tuesday, then settled up 14.3% as of 3:30 p.m. EDT in the music streaming specialist's first day as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

Spotify filed for the offering in mid-February, opting for a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO. This means that the offering was not underwritten by any investment banks, and no formal offering price was set ahead of the market's opening.

Spotify application running on multiple electronic devices including smartphones, a tablet, and a desktop computer


So what

That said, the NYSE did set a reference price of $132 per share yesterday evening based on the latest private market valuations. But shares immediately soared well above it on strong investor demand, and its current trading price values Spotify at a whopping $26.5 billion as of this writing.

For perspective, Spotify told investors last week to expect revenue this fiscal year in the range of roughly $6.0 billion to $6.5 billion -- good for year-over-year growth of 20% to 30% -- which should translate to an operating loss in the range of $282 million to $405 million.

It's not uncommon for fast-growing tech companies to forsake near-term profitability as they invest to drive revenue growth and take market share. To that end, Spotify anticipates its total monthly active users to increase to a range of 198 million to 208 million (up 26% to 32% from last year), including 30% to 36% growth in premium subscribers to a range of 92 million to 96 million.

Now what

Given its healthy pop today, you can be sure the market will be watching closely to see if Spotify can live up to those expectations this year.

I'll be among those keeping an eye on the business, of course. But I personally prefer to stay on the sidelines to let any post-offering volatility subside, then make a more informed decision as to whether Spotify stock is worthy of a long-term spot in my portfolio. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.