This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
Over the past two months, Israeli IPOs have been the top three performing new stock issues on the NASDAQ exchange, leaving behind a bigger name from a much bigger country — China’s Alibaba. The three – MobilEye, ReWalk, and the latest, CyberArk – doubled or tripled in value from their initial strike price. CyberArk, an Israeli cyber-security firm, saw its shares nearly double by the end of its first trading day last Wednesday, and analysts applauded the performance of one of the first of the new Israeli cyber-security start-ups to go public.
CyberArk shares went on sale last Wednesday, September 24, at a strike price of $16, rising at one point during the day to over $32 a share, before settling back down to the $30 range. As of Friday, CyberArk shares were valued at $29.80 — 86% over the strike price.
The performance of the Israeli IPOs has been far better than that of the most heralded and anticipated initial public offering of the year – Chinese e-retailer Alibaba Group. Shares in Alibaba were offered on September 19 at $68, and rose on their first day about 30%, to $90.46. Since then, the stock has hovered at a level slightly below $90, as analysts cite investor fear of the prospects of China’s economy in the mid-term as an important factor in the relative lack of enthusiasm the Alibaba IPO generated.
First in the latest round of the Israeli IPOs was MobilEye, which went public on August 1. Shares were priced at $25 at the opening bell, but investors drove share prices up to as much as $39.40, with shares closing on the first day of trading at $37, 48% higher than the initial asking price.
Already at the time, it was the largest Israeli IPO in the US ever. According to analysts, the $890 million raised by MobilEye gives the company a valuation of over $7.5 billion. But as investors have gotten to know MobileEye, which makes safety systems for drivers, they have driven share prices even higher – to the point where shares closed at over $50 last Friday, 104% over the original share price.
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