ProFrac Holding Corp. shares fell 2.2% in their NASDAQ debut on May 13, valuing the U.S. oilfield services company at $2.47 billion, and adding to signs that capital markets investors were still shunning IPOs.
Shares of the company, backed by billionaire brothers Dan and Farris Wilks, opened at $17.60, below ProFrac’s IPO price of $18 per share. The company had priced its IPO well below the targeted range of $21 to $24 per share, despite hopes of strong demand amid a sharp rise in crude prices.
ProFrac’s listing comes at an inopportune time, with equity markets bleeding from fears of aggressive monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve and impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war. Volatile markets have already forced several companies to postpone or shelve their U.S. listing plans.
Those that did not step back have taken a beating. Last week, eye-care company Bausch + Lomb Corp.’s was also priced well below the target range.
ProFrac’s listing comes a month after shares of Excelerate Energy Inc., a provider of floating liquefied natural gas terminals owned by rival oil mogul George Kaiser, began trading in New York.
Founded in 2016, Willow Park, Texas-based ProFrac raised $288 million in its IPO.
J.P. Morgan, Piper Sandler, Morgan Stanley were the lead underwriters for the offering.
Robust Demand Environment
ProFrac, which provides hydraulic fracturing services, debuted at a time when crude oil prices have risen to more than a decade high after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine tightened supplies and as global fuel demand hovers near pre-pandemic levels.
Top oilfield services firm Schlumberger CEO Olivier Le Peuch said last month the outlook for the industry is the strongest in recent times, citing confluence of elevated commodity prices, demand-led activity growth, and energy security.
Larger peers Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Co. both posted strong first-quarter profits and forecast higher margins this year.
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