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center_img — – Another major IPO just flopped… Yesterday, credit card processing company Square (SQ) held its initial public offering. An IPO is when a company sells shares to the public for the first time. Companies “go public” to raise money. Square makes a small, plastic device that turns any smartphone into a credit card reader. The device is popular with coffee shops, food trucks, and other small merchants. Square originally hoped to raise $324 million. It only raised $243 million, or 25% less than its original goal. Yesterday’s IPO put the value of Square at $2.9 billion, a major disappointment. Last year, private investors valued Square at $6 billion. Based on that, Square had hoped to price its shares at about $15.46. But the company couldn’t generate enough investor interest at that price, so it lowered its goal to $11-$13 per share. In the end, Square went public yesterday at only $9 per share… •  Then Square’s stock price skyrocketed on its first day of trading… Square closed at $12.85 on Thursday, or 44% above its IPO price. This doesn’t make the IPO any less of a failure. The post-IPO rally doesn’t put any more cash in the company’s bank account. After six years of business, Square still hasn’t turned a profit. The company lost $54 million last quarter. Also, its sale growth rate slowed during the first half of 2015, which is a bad sign for any startup. Plus, Square only has a part-time CEO, Jack Dorsey. He doubles as the CEO of social media giant Twitter (TWTR). Twitter’s stock price has fallen 34% over the past year. •  Square picked a lousy time to go public… U.S. IPOs have raised 64% less money this year than they had at the same point last year, according to IPO research firm Renaissance Capital. The number of IPOs is also down 62% compared to the same period last year, according to research firm Dealogic. The number of tech IPOs has dropped 53%. Meanwhile, companies that are going public are struggling to raise money… Last month, global payment processing company First Data Corp. (FDC) had the biggest IPO of 2015. The company originally hoped to raise $3.2 billion. Like Square, First Data couldn’t generate much investor interest at its target valuation. So, the company discounted its IPO share price by about 16%. Other companies are delaying or canceling IPOs altogether… Last month, supermarket chain Albertsons postponed its IPO because of market volatility. The company was hoping to raise $2 billion. It would have been the second-biggest IPO of the year. And mobile phone provider Digicel Group flat-out canceled its IPO in early October.last_img

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