Shares in Pinterest soared 28 percent during the newly public company's first hours of trading under the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol PINS. The digital scrapbook site's stock price approached $24.50 Thursday, up from an initial public offering price of $19 that had put Pinterest on track to raise more than $1.4 billion in potential payouts for its earliest investors.
Pinterest said it had revenue of $756 million last year and a loss of $63 million. It claims more than 250 million monthly users and more than 2 billion monthly searches on its site. It and Zoom, a web-cloud-services company that also went public Thursday, are the first tech companies to list their stock since the highly anticipated Lyft debut turned into a dud. Lyft shares are down more than 30 percent from their high in late March.
In its regulatory filing in March to register the IPO, Pinterest disclosed that its revenue is growing rapidly but added that it has never turned a profit. In 2018, the company's revenue jumped by almost 60 percent to $755.9 million.
Pinterest said it believes revenue will continue to grow, thanks to demand from advertisers who are seeking to reach its users, which it calls "Pinners." The site offers a wide selection of images that Pinners can organize into themed "boards," such as boards about cooking or fashion.
"More Pinners say that Pinterest helps them find new shopping ideas and inspiration than users on other consumer internet platforms, according to a survey by Comscore that we commissioned," the company said in the regulatory filing. "People actively seek relevant commercial content on our service, and advertisers are increasingly providing it."
The San Francisco-based company said part of its strategy is to expand into new advertising markets, such as appealing to auto companies and financial services firms that want to reach its base of 250 million monthly active users. It's also planning to expand internationally.