Ceridian up 42% following payroll software IPO

Stock market investors greeted the payroll software company with enthusiasm on its debut Thursday. After pricing above its expected range at $22 per share, the stock shot up 42 percent, closing above $31 by day’s end.

Ceridian helps clients ranging from BlackRock to Trader Joe’s keep tabs on personnel, including payroll, benefits, and onboarding. Its clients pay it a fee per employee per month.

“The platform is designed to ease administrative work for both employees and managers, creating opportunities for companies to increase employee engagement,” reads ADP and Workday is among its competitors.

It was a large tech offering, raising $462 million in its IPO. But the Minneapolis-based business is lower-profile in Silicon Valley, partly because it didn’t raise venture capital.

Instead, Ceridian had financial backing from Fidelity and private equity firm, Thomas H. Lee, which owns 62 percent of the business. Formed in 1992, the company has gone through a few iterations. It was acquired by financial sponsors in 2007, but the acquisition of Dayforce Corporation in 2012 became the backbone of its software business.

David Ossip became CEO after that acquisition. He told TechCrunch that he was optimistic about its “single code-based platform” and that the money raised in the IPO will be used toward “paying off a bunch of debt.”

The company brought in $750.7 million in revenue for 2017, up from $704.2 million in 2016 and $693.9 million in 2015. Losses shrunk from $104.7 million to $10.5 million in that same time frame.

“We have a history of losses and negative cash flows from operating activities, and we may not be able to attain or to maintain profitability or positive cash flows from operating activities in the future.”

Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan served as lead bankers on the offering. Weil Gotshal and Latham & Watkins served as counsel.

The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “CDAY.”

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