A123's IPO Lookin' Good: Priced Above Range, Ups Share Issue

a123_battery_07It’s looking like the cleantech industry could get its long-awaited smash hit IPO on Thursday after a long dry spell.
Update: A123 Systems opened at $17 per share on Thursday and climbed as high as $20 per share in early morning trading.
Update: A123’s stock dipped slightly in the afternoon hours but rose back up to close to $20 per share by 2pm EST.

Watertown, Mass-based battery startup A123 Systems priced its shares at $13.50 on Wednesday, significantly above the previous estimated range of $10 and $11.50, and upped the number of shares for its IPO, raising $380.4 million, reports Reuters. That’s above the $247.7 million it was expecting to raise, and the IPO’s underwriters also have an option to purchase another 4.2 million shares, which could result in a total raise of $437.5 million.

We’ll see if the aggressive pricing finds demand on Thursday when A123 Systems starts trading under the symbol “AONE,” but the IPO is looking promising right now. If successful it could symbolize renewed investor appetite for IPOs, increased public confidence in electric cars and help to establish energy storage as sexy technology, once and for all. A123 is a good test case, as it has already raised $69 million in venture-capital funding this year, scored a $249.1 million DOE grant and signed deals to supply electric-vehicle batteries to Chrysler and a grid battery to Southern California Edison.

Still, in a week with eight IPO deals, A123’s public offering is the first IPO this year by a company that has yet to turn a profit. In its prospectus, A123 reported a net loss of $41.2 million in the first half of this year, compared to $30.9 million in the same period last year, and also saw higher annual losses in each of the last three years.