Vancouver’s nLight Soared in First Day of Trading

· | News

Shares gained 68 percent in IPO

If Day 1 was any indication, nLight’s future as a publicly traded company looks pretty bright.


The Vancouver laser manufacturer landed on the ticker of the Nasdaq Exchange on Thursday, selling for $16 per share. By market close at 4 p.m. Eastern, share prices had climbed to $26.95, a one-day gain of 68 percent.


With 5.4 million shares on sale, and another 27.6 million shares not yet for sale, nLight looks to be valued at more than $880 million. It remains to be seen whether the first-day excitement and share price will ebb over the coming weeks.

Founder and CEO Scott Keeney told The Columbian on Thursday that the company will end up raising more than $100 million, among the largest initial public offerings in the region’s history.


“I think that’s something everybody in the region should take great pride in,” he said. “It’s certainly not just me or our team. It’s the community. We should all celebrate in this success.”


NLight makes high-powered lasers from fiber-optic and semiconductor technologies. Once a science-fiction trope, the science has advanced to make lasers useful and affordable for manufacturing and defense.


David Nierenberg, a prominent Camas investor with 87,000 shares in the company, said the first day signaled nLight’s potential. He said it’s not uncommon for companies to fall flat in their first day.


“This one went out and above (expectations) and is now trading at a 40 percent premium. Good IPOs do that,” he said. “This is a successful IPO. That’s the best description I can give you.”


‘Enormous’ potential

Founded in 2000, nLight now takes on more responsibilities as a publicly traded company whose shareholders will be hungry for consistent revenue growth.

Filings before its stock debut show nLight is already charting in that direction. Revenues climbed from $101.3 million in 2016 to $138.6 million last year, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Net income rose from a $14.2 million loss to a $1.8 million profit.


“I do believe that the company has a bright future because it has great management and board (of directors), a large market and an enviable competitive position,” Nierenberg said.

Read the full article on The Columbian here.

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