Fitbit Shares Soar in Wall Street Debut

(Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

Exercise-tracking-device company Fitbit streaked past its initial public offering price in its New York Stock Exchange debut Thursday, revealing high demand for the new tech stock.

Shares began trading under the FIT ticker symbol at $30.40, more than 50 percent above the initial public offering price of $20. Fitbit raised about $732 million in the IPO from its sale of 36.58 million shares. The company is now valued at more than $6 billion.

The San Francisco company’s 2014 revenue amounted to $745 million as it sold 10.9 million devices, nearly three times the previous year’s revenue of $271 million.

The wearable-device market has shown consistent growth over the last several years, with Fitbit holding 85 percent of the “connected activity tracker market” in the first quarter of the year, according to NPD Group, a research firm.

Fitbit, formed in 2007, provides a multi-platform approach to health and fitness, integrating mobile apps and websites with sleek, colorful devices that track data such as steps taken and calories burned. They can be worn as bracelets or clipped to clothing.

The launch last spring of the Apple Watch, which can similarly monitor exercise habits, raised questions about Fitbit’s ability to compete with the tech giant, putting widespread attention on investor interest in Fitbit’s IPO.