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Shanda’s Lukewarm IPO Fails To Live Up To The Hype

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*Shanda* Games can lay claim to the title of the biggest U.S. IPO so far in 2009 — but the gaming company still failed to live up to the tremendous hype around its launch. A spinoff of Shanghai-based Shanda Interactive Entertainment, the newly-public company priced its shares at $12.50 upon opening on Friday, Sept. 25. It sold 83.5 million shares in total — 20.5 million more than originally planned — but by market close, the price had fallen by 14 percent to $10.75.

The consensus was that *Shanda* Games’ history of delivering both solid revenue and profits would attract investors and maintain its high share price, so the mediocre performance had analysts like IPOBoutique.com’s Scott Sweet puzzled. “This is a complete shock,” he told TheStreet.com. “This had more international demand than A123.” (A123 Systems is a car battery manufacturer that IPOd the day before *Shanda* Games; the company currently isn’t profitable, but its share price rose by 50 percent on its debut).

*Shanda* Games’ lukewarm first day was also a sharp contrast to rival gaming company Changyou’s April IPO. Changyou’s stock closed at 25 percent above its opening price of $16 that day.