Cloudera IPO Prices Above Range, Jumps 22%

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Cloudera Inc. (NYSE: CLDR), a provider of a Hadoop-based big data processing platform, fired off its initial public offering (IPO) Friday morning. The company priced the 15 million-share offering at $15 a share on Wednesday, above the expected range of $12 to $14. Shares traded as much as 29% above the IPO price, at $19.31 per share, in early morning trading.

Underwriters for the IPO were Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Allen, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank Securities, Stifel, JMP Securities and Raymond James. The underwriters have 30-day option to purchase an additional 2.25 million shares.

The company raised $225 million, and there are now over 130 million shares of Cloudera outstanding.

Even at the top of its trading price this morning, however, Cloudera was trading at a discount of more than 30% to the per-share price that Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) paid for a stake in the company back in 2014. Intel held nearly 25 million shares prior to the IPO, for which the company paid some $766 million. At the IPO price, Intel’s stake is valued at around $375 million; at $20 a share, Intel’s stake is worth about $500 million.

From a one-time valuation of around $4.1 billion to around $2.3 billion, Cloudera may not seem like a good bet. After all, Intel is taking a big haircut on its earlier investment. But the chipmaking giant indicated that it may acquire 10% of the shares in today’s IPO.

Intel’s reasoning is driven by its desire to get Cloudera’s IPO out the door at a reasonable price in order to begin selling a long-term story that competes with IBM and its Watson platform. Intel is working with Cloudera to optimize silicon for big data analytics.

No matter how fast a program runs on commodity processors, customized silicon will be lots faster. With big-data platforms like Cloudera, that could be the difference that wins in what has become a crowded market for analytics programs.

On the financial side, the above-range IPO sets the table for a secondary offering within 12 months, especially if Cloudera can continue to build (or at least not slice) the share price. That could help Intel recover some of the haircut it took, a neat trick when you think about it.

Cloudera’s stock traded at $18.10, up about 21%, as Friday’s noon hour ticked to an end. Over 10 million shares had changed hands since the stock went out this morning.