Hortonworks rockets past $1 billion valuation on first day of trading

elephantHortonworks Inc. raised the price of its initial public offering to $16 per share on Thursday from the original target range of $12 to $14 set earlier this month, but Wall Street still liked what it saw, kicking up Hortonworks (NASDAQ: HDP) shares more than 60 percent on its opening day.

The repriced IPO bagged a total of $100 million for Hortonworks, which is the first Hadoop pure-play company to go public. The stock kicked up another 50 percent to $24 at the opening bell and closed at $26.38,  at the close of trading, up 63 percent on trading volume of 6.3 million shares.

The massive capital infusion bumps the Yahoo! Inc. spin-off’s valuation past the $1 billion mark, according to Bloomberg, roughly 100 times the revenue it reported last year in its S-1 filing. That is exponentially higher than the ratio at which its fellow public software companies trade, and it bodes well for other Hadoop startups that are incurring losses while waiting for demand to take off.

The company sold more than $33 million worth of professional services over the first six months of this year, which was 65 percent more than its total revenues in 2013. Wikibon estimates that Hortonworks is on track to gross $45 million by the end of the year.

That would be several multiples of the ratio at which Red Hat Inc., the other most notable open-source software maker on the New York Stock Exchange, is trading at, not mention more traditional vendors such as IBM or Oracle. The lofty valuation reflects long-pent-up investor interest in capitalizing on the rapid growth of the analytics market, which is poised to nearly double through 2017 to over $50 billion as organizations move their projects from pilot to production.

The company is not alone in trying to seize upon the demand for Hadoop, however. It contends with Cloudera Inc. with its $4.2 billion valuation and MapR Technologies Inc., which could hit the stock exchange as soon as early next year. The latter has maintained a fairly low-profile but boasts three times as many paying customers, making it a formidable threat.

But Hortonworks is content basking in Wall Street’s limelight for the time being, as are its underwriters, which have received a 30-day option to to purchase up to 937,500 additional shares of common stock in return for their efforts. The roster includes lead book managers Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC along with RBC Capital Markets, LLC Wells Fargo Securities, LLC and Blackstone Capital Markets.

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