Petco Stock Jumps In Debut After Third IPO Prices Above Forecasts

Petco stock soared in its trading debut Thursday after its initial public offering prices above forecasts late Wednesday.


The pet supply retailer raised $864 million from its IPO after selling 48 million shares at $18 each, above the expected range of $14-$17. At that price, the company’s market valuation tops $4.6 billion.

Petco Health and Wellness (WOOF) will join the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol WOOF. Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are the lead banks for the IPO.

Shares jumped 63% to 29.30 on the stock market today, hitting 31.08 intraday.

The isn’t the first time Petco has made a public debut. It first went public in 1994 before going private in 2000. Then it went public again in 2002 before going private again in 2006.

More pet-focused IPOs are on the way in 2021. BarkBox, a popular monthly subscription service for dogs, is expected to go public via a merger with Northern Star Acquisitions, a blank-check company, in the second quarter. It will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BARK.

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Pet ownership has boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic as Americans went on adopting sprees. Shelter Animals Count, a database that follows 500 shelters around the U.S., said adoptions rose 15% in 2020 vs. 2019.

Americans also spent more money on their pets last year. A LendingTree poll in October found that 1 in 3 pet owners increased spending on their pets during the pandemic even as unemployment rose and other types of spending fell.

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The trend has lifted other pet stocks like Chewy (CHWY) and Freshpet (FRPT), while PetMed Express (PETS) and PetIQ (PETQ) have been more mixed.

Chewy stock rose 1.9% Thursday after surging 8% Wednesday. Freshpet climbed 2.1%.

Follow Gillian Rich on Twitter for investing news and more.


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