At the close of the NASDAQ on Thursday evening, SolarCity ended its first day of trading up close to 50 percent, closing at $11.79. The price is almost $4 per share higher than the initial price of $8 per share, though a little more than $1 under the company’s estimated range of $13 to $15 earlier this week.
As GigaOM Pro Adam Lesser put it, the initial low pricing now seems like a godsend for the firm, and for the broader cleantech sector. SolarCity’s share opened at $9.25 and soared throughout the day.
SolarCity investors include co-founder Elon Musk, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and DBL Investors. The investors agreed to buy up about a third of the float the day before trading and if the stock can stay up substantially they’ll make a nice profit off of the shares they bought at $8 per share. However, when a small amount of insiders own a substantial amount of the stock, it can get tricky if they want to cash out after the lock-out period (typically 6 months).
SolarCity raised $92 million in the offering, and had a valuation of $592 million at the $8 per share price. That’s down from an over billion dollar valuation, and a planned raise of $141 million. Wall Street has seemed a little skittish of solar and clean energy stocks throughout 2012.
Given the interest in SolarCity’s stock, perhaps that sentiment is turning a corner. SolarCity installs and finances solar panels on rooftops, which is very different from a manufacturer making solar cells and modules.