Virgin Mobile USA Inc. were trading slightly above the target opening price of $15 per share on Friday, a day after the MVNO went public on the New York Stock Exchange.
That share price was a little lower than the expected $15-$17 range.
Virgin Mobile offered 27.5 million shares of Class A common stock; investors snapped up 25.5 million of those shares on Oct. 11. By Friday mid-afternoon, 2.8 million shares were trading for $15.16.
Virgin Mobiles IPO timing arguably could have been better. Disney Mobile just shuttered its second MVNO attempt (like Virgin Mobile, it used the Sprint Network) and Ampd Mobile, a Verizon Wireless reseller, went belly-up earlier this year as well.
On the plus side, as of June 2007, Virgin Mobile was serving 4.8 million customers. The iffy news was that ARPU dropped to $21.68 per month in the first half of the year, and the MVNO has been losing customers at a rate of almost 5 percent per month.
Virgin Mobile is jointly owned by Richard Bransons Virgin Group and Sprint Nextel Corp. The MVNO has built its brand on hip prepaid service. Its ticker symbol is VM.
Sprint Nextel Corp. www.sprint.com
Virgin Mobile USA www.virginmobileusa.com