Veeva IPO Defies Jitters over U.S. Economy

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Veeva Systems Inc. (VEEV), a California-based company that makes cloud software solutions for the life sciences industry, held its initial public offering (IPO) Wednesday morning among a swirl of uncertainty about the U.S. economy. Investors have put aside any worries, though, driving the stock to a more than 80% gain in the first hour of trading.

Shares were offered at $20, well above the initial range of $12 to $14, and above even an upwardly revised range of $16 to $18. The firm offered 3.33 million shares, and underwriters had an option on an additional 1.96 million shares. The company raised about $261 million in the IPO.

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The attractiveness of Veeva's shares likely is explained by two facts. One, the company took just $10 million in venture funding. And two, it posted a profit of $18.8 million in its most recent fiscal year ending in January. That's right, a profit.

The company plans to use its share of the proceeds, estimated at $138.3 million if the underwriters' options are taken, for general corporate purposes and working capital. In its original Form S-1 filing, the company said, "[W]e do not currently have specific planned uses of the proceeds. The amount of proceeds we use for the purposes above, if any, will depend on the level of cash generated from our operations."

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Shares skyrocketed to nearly $40 shortly after trading began and settled to a recent price of $36.75, up 83.8%.

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