ServiceNow soars in NYSE debut, bodes well for IPOs

Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:00pm IST

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(Reuters) - ServiceNow Inc (NOW.N) soared 29 percent in its New York Stock Exchange stock debut on Friday, as the information technology software company reawakened a market that had cooled amid the European debt crisis and in the aftermath of Facebook Inc's (FB.O) botched initial public offering.

Shares of the San Diego, California-based company opened at $23.16, up $5.16, after pricing at $18, above the expected range. ServiceNow sold 11.65 million shares, raising $209.7 million.

ServiceNow had intended to price shares in a range of $15 to $17. The company sold 9 million shares, while company founder Fred Luddy sold the remaining 2.65 million shares.

ServiceNow's public debut is in the spotlight as a successful IPO could pave the way for other offerings in an otherwise sluggish global IPO market.

Excluding Facebook, global IPO proceeds during the first six months of 2012 dropped 45 percent from the same period last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The IPO, which was led by Morgan Stanley, cements the bank's status as the top underwriter of technology offerings so far this year.

Morgan Stanley also handled Facebook's $16 billion IPO, although it drew scrutiny for that deal. Shares of Facebook traded Friday at $31.24, off 0.4 percent and below its $38 IPO price.

ServiceNow Chief Executive Frank Slootman said fallout from Facebook's IPO didn't affect the timing of the ServiceNow debut.

"The Facebook dynamic was not a major driver for us going or not going," he said. "I think the macro had a lot more to do with it. We were ready to go early June and then we started to go week to week and waited out some of those macro catalysts." He referred to market anxiety over the European financial crisis.

In fiscal year 2011, ServiceNow revenue more than doubled to $92.6 million, and it posted a profit of $9.8 million after a loss of $29.7 million in 2010.

Besides Morgan Stanley, ServiceNow's IPO is being underwritten Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank AG, Barclays, Credit Suisse, UBS AG, Pacific Crest Securities and Wells Fargo & Co.

ServiceNow will use the proceeds for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran; editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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