Elster Group, a global maker of utility meters with major facilities in Raleigh, began trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange this morning despite failing to reach its target price per share.
Elster is just the latest company locally and nationally whose initial public offering of stock failed to meet original projections. The spate of lower stock prices suggest that investors continue to have doubts about business growth prospects in an anemic economy.
Bloomberg News reported that at least 45 companies have shelved or withdrawn their IPOs in this country amid concerns about the state of the economy.
Elster priced its stock at $13 per share, well below the target of $16 to $18 per share that company had originally announced.
By mid-morning, however, the stock had climbed above $14 per share in market trading. The German company issued 16.2 million American Depository Shares, four of which represent an ordinary share in the company.
Elster employs more than 600 people at its North American headquarters in Raleigh. The company makes utility meters for the electric, gas and water industries and is betting heavily on automated digital meters for "smart grid" technology.
Companies engaged in public offerings set their stock prices based on negotiations with institutional investors that agree to buy the initial shares.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Elster said it will make about $167 million from today's stock offering at $13 per share, minus banker fees and other expenses.