Pure Storage had a tough debut on the NYSE, highlighting a difficult market for IPOs. The flash storage memory company has focused on growth, and had yet to turn a profit. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Pure Storage disappointed investors with their debut on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. The company is in a hot field, the flash storage business, which, advocates say, is faster and less vulnerable to mechanical failure than disk drives. But, despite enthusiasm for the business, Pure Storage shares fell at the open from their offering price of $17 a share. Renaissance Capital's Kathleen Smith. (SOUNDBITE) KATHLEEN SMITH, ETF IPO MANAGER, RENAISSANCE CAPITAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I'm sure that the company is disappointed. Certainly, investors are very disappointed, and it's been the most IPO that so many investors have been looking for to open up the technology IPO market. So, we were hoping to see this one do well and clearly it needed to be priced much lower." Smith adds that the environment will continue to be tough for similar tech IPOs. And it hasn't been easy. The flash memory company joining a list of other high profile listings like Twitter, Box and Etsy that are trading below their offering price. Adding to investor concerns: Pure Storage has yet to make a profit. President David Hatfield says the company is prioritizing growth. (SOUNDBITE) DAVID HATFIELD, PRESIDENT, PURE STORAGE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We grew the business 300 percent year over year and added 1,100 customers in three years, so that kind of growth, together with some of the highest customer satisfaction scores and repeat purchases in the industry in history, those two metrics give us the encouragement to continue to invest in growth." Pure trades on the NYSE under the ticker PSTG.