The company was founded by Levi Strauss, a German immigrant, who began selling his blue jeans to Gold Rush prospectors from a shop in San Francisco in 1853. The stock, which is listed under the ticker "LEVI", opened for trading on Thursday up 31 per cent on very strong demand and recently changed hands at United States dollars 22.90, up USD 5.90. Ride-hailing company Lyft will sell shares to the public next week, and larger rival Uber is expected to go public later this spring. The market capitalization of the company is based on outstanding shares of about 390 million, which includes the over-allotment option.
The company's IPO was priced at 17/share, and the shares (LEVI) closed up 5.41 at 22.41 on the day. That gave Levi's a market value of $8.64 billion, according to FactSet.
A welcome and pleasant event at Levi's' IPO debut was the sight of many traders wearing Levi's jeans (most even donning Levi's jackets plus blue jeans) on the trading floor.
Most recently, Levi's won attention when musical superstar Beyonce wore Levi's cutoff shorts in an April 2017 performance at the Coachella music festival, a point highlighted in the company's securities filing, which noted the garment was deemed the "ultimate Coachella clothing item" by People magazine.
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Levi's is looking at further expansion by opening new stores and broadening wholesale relationships.
Jeans pants are displayed at a Levi Strauss store in New York, US, March 19, 2019. "There's a lot of competition, but Levi's has always been the brand in denim".
Levi's, however, still has to contend with its existing host of problems. Analysts noted that over the last 10 years, global jeans sales rose at a CAGR of only 3.5 percent. The 166-year-old company, which owns the Dockers and Denizen brands, previously went public in 1971, but the namesake founder's descendants, the Haas family, took it private again in 1985.
For the year ended November 2018, Levi's reported sales of $5.58 billion, a 13.7 percent jump year-on-year.