Poland’s newest stock listing was a roaring success on its first day of trading, taking over as the biggest stock on the country’s main exchange and adding almost two-thirds in market value.
Allegro.eu SA shares jumped 63% to close at 70 zloty in its first trading session in Warsaw on Monday, lifting the company’s value to 72 billion zloty ($19 billion). The firm and its private-equity investors priced the IPO at the top end of a marketed range, cashing in on soaring demand for digital sales as consumers stuck at home indulge in virtual retail therapy.
“Allegro provides high exposure to the fast-growing Polish e-commerce market and draws comparison to Amazon, which may be an attractive investment option for foreign investors, who took up most of the shares in offering,” Jaroslaw Niedzielewski, head of investments for Investors TFI mutual fund, said in an email. “But the scale of the price jump is a shock.”
Before the trading start, analysts at Bernstein estimated Allegro’s enterprise value to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be about 37, above the likes of Amazon.com Inc and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, but below MercadoLibre Inc. and European fashion retailer Zalando SE, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Trading volume on Allegro shares reached about 4 billion zloty, a record daily volume for single stock in Warsaw. It stood for almost 80% of total equity traded value on the exchange on Monday.
“Wide gains are a combination of a general surge in tech stocks this year and emerging markets e-commerce opportunity, which long-term is a good place to be,” Bernstein analyst Aneesha Sherman said in email. Even so, “such a move may soften after as there are several question marks about growth and margins.”