Ctrip.com International Ltd., a Shanghai-based travel website providing information for Chinese and foreigners on such topics as hotels, tickets and some places of interest, began trading on NASDAQ Tuesday. On that first day, shares almost doubled, with Ctrip closing at $33.94 a share, up 89% from the $18 offering price set on its initial public offering of 4.2 million American depositary shares–28% of its developed capital stock.
According to data from Thomson Financial, it was the highest first-day gain since the shares of chip maker Transmeta Corp. rose 115% in November 2000. Demand for Ctrip shares was strong even before trading began trading, which was visible from the pricing of the deal, which was led by Merrill Lynch & Co. Last week, the company hiked price expectations to between $16 and $18 from between $14 and $16 per share. The IPO priced at the high end of that revised range.
Ctrip is a relatively new company, founded in 1999. Including dividends paid to existing shareholders and the effects of preferred stock, the company reported a $2.6 million net loss on $12.8 million in revenue over the first nine months of this year. For all of 2002, it reported a $2.3 million loss on $12.1 million in revenue.