Talecris Biotherapeutics, which got a warm welcome on Wall Street two months ago, is learning how quickly the stock market can turn chilly.
For the first time since the stock began trading publicly on Oct. 1, Talecris shares on Monday fell below their opening price of $19. It was one of this year's most successful initial public offerings and the first IPO by a Triangle company in several years.
The stock has fallen nearly 20 percent since closing at a high of $23.05 on Nov. 11. It closed Monday at $18.75, down 54 cents.
The price drop stings Talecris investors, who include most of its 2,200 Triangle employees. The Research Triangle Park company gave each of its workers at least 50 shares at the IPO price, and some, especially top executives, hold many more.
CEO Lawrence Stern, for example, owns the equivalent of about 5 million shares.
The stock decline comes as Wall Street worries about the broader market for medicines made from blood plasma that Talecris sells. The recession has led to an increase in plasma collection, which could create an oversupply. The downturn also is weakening demand, and patients' ability to pay, for medicines.