Millennial Media's shares nearly double at IPO opening

March 29, 2012|Gus G. Sentementes

Millennial Media Inc., a Baltimore-based mobile advertising company, broke a years-long IPO drought in the city's technology sector and went public today on the New York Stock Exchange with an opening share price of $13. 

Shares immediately shot up to $25 in the opening moments of trading, nearly double its initial opening price.

Paul Palmieri, Millennial's chief executive officer, rang the opening bell at the exchange to kick off trading. The company, founded Palmieri, a former Verizon Wireless executive, and a former Advertising.com executive, is the first of a new breed of companies targeting the booming mobile advertising sector to go public. Other large competitors have been bought byGoogle Inc. andApple Inc. for hundreds of millions of dollars each.

Palmieri, in remarks to The Baltimore Sun, gave a hat-tip to the Baltimore community for helping launch Millennial. The company was a member of the Emerging Technology Center, a business incubator in Canton. The company is still based in Canton.

"Today is another step forward in the rapid growth we have experience over the last six plus years," said Palmieri. "We're excited and proud to celebrate this milestone with our employees, customers, partners, neighbors and the entire Baltimore community, without whom this would not be possible."

Millennial trades under the ticker symbol: MM.

The company expects the share sell-off to raise more than $132 million, with most going to the company and a small amount going to indivdual investors who participated in the stock sale. Millennial officials have said they plan to use the new capital to expand the company's reach in the United States and abroad, invest in new technologyies, and hire more employees.

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