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Sonos IPO: "Smart" speaker maker climbs 33% in public debut

Sonos' life as a public company got off to a sound start Thursday on Nasdaq, with its shares rising double digits after investors shook off an earlier decision by the company and its bankers to cut the share price for the initial public offering.

The maker of smart speakers for homes priced its IPO at $15 a share late Wednesday, beneath the anticipated $17-to-$19 range, suggesting weaker-than-expected investor demand for the stock. The offer price valued Sonos at just under $1.5 billion. 

Shares of the company on Thursday ended up $4.91, or 33 percent, at $19.91.

Possibly weighing against Sonos before today's IPO were disappointing earnings this week from technology giants including Facebook that pushed the tech sector lower in the past week. 

Sonos marked its market debut by reworking the sound of the opening and closing bell on the stock exchange, where it was scheduled to start trading under the ticker symbol "SONO." 

The new Nasdaq bell is busier and more dramatic than its predecessor

Sonos redesigns the Nasdaq Bell by Sonos on YouTube

"Sonos Sound Experience Lead Giles Martin and Academy Award-winning sound engineer Chris Jenkins worked with Nasdaq on the project," the company wrote in a blog post Thursday. "Experimenting with different instruments and techniques, our sound engineers artfully created a bell that honors Nasdaq's roots."

The wireless speaker maker lost about $14 million for the year that ended Sept. 30 on revenue of $992.5 million, according to a regulatory filing. It lost $38.2 million on $901.3 million in revenue the prior year.

The company's high-end, web-connected speakers include the voice-activated Sonos One introduced in late 2017. Sonos' rivals include Samsung and Bose.

The IPO comes after a trio of high-profile market debuts so far this year, including software company DocuSign, streaming music provider Spotify and cloud storage provider Dropbox.

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