Fast and furious redux: Alibaba [BABA] opens up 37 percent

Rocket launch. (US government photo)
Rocket launch. (US government photo)

NEW YORK, September 19, 2014 − After a frantic morning of jockeying, Alibaba’s much-anticipated IPO opened as if it were rocket propelled, soaring 35 percent to $92.70 from its IPO price of $68. Demand has been tremendous thus far, although it is difficult to guess where the stock may close today, given the potential overhang of shares some insiders are permitted to sell. That’s unusual in an IPO where most insider shares are “locked up” for 180-360 days.

Contrarian investors are currently bidding Yahoo! shares (YHOO) and options down, apparently betting Alibaba shares (BABA) have already peaked. This is likely to reverse.

Reportedly, hundreds of thousands of shares are queued up for trading. As of this writing, shares are up even more, trading as high as $95 and change.

We’ll provide you with an update later today if and when things settle down a bit for this hot new issue and allied trades.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17