The Latest: Levi Strauss public again, stock surges

  • FILE- In this Feb. 9, 2018 photo Bart Sights, head of the Eureka Lab, compares the markings and damage on jeans that he guesses are close to 30 years old, left, to jeans made within a few hours of this photograph at Levi's innovation lab in San Francisco. On Thursday, March 21, 2019, Levi Strauss & Co. is going back to the public markets after 34 years.

    FILE- In this Feb. 9, 2018 photo Bart Sights, head of the Eureka Lab, compares the markings and damage on jeans that he guesses are close to 30 years old, left, to jeans made within a few hours of this photograph at Levi's innovation lab in San Francisco. On Thursday, March 21, 2019, Levi Strauss & Co. is going back to the public markets after 34 years. Associated Press

  • FILE- This Feb. 9, 2018 photo shows Levi's jeans hanging on a wall at Levi's innovation lab in San Francisco. On Thursday, March 21, 2019, Levi Strauss & Co. is going back to the public markets after 34 years.

    FILE- This Feb. 9, 2018 photo shows Levi's jeans hanging on a wall at Levi's innovation lab in San Francisco. On Thursday, March 21, 2019, Levi Strauss & Co. is going back to the public markets after 34 years. Associated Press

  • FILE- This Feb. 9, 2018 photo shows workers at Levi's innovation lab in San Francisco. On Thursday, March 21, 2019, Levi Strauss & Co. is going back to the public markets after 34 years.

    FILE- This Feb. 9, 2018 photo shows workers at Levi's innovation lab in San Francisco. On Thursday, March 21, 2019, Levi Strauss & Co. is going back to the public markets after 34 years. Associated Press

 
 

NEW YORK -- The Latest on Levi Strauss & Co.'s initial public offering (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Shares of Levi Strauss surged after it began trading as public company for the second time in the clothing brand's 166-year history.

The shares were priced Wednesday at $17 and opened for trading Thursday at $22.22, a gain of 31 percent. At the close, Levi rose 32 percent to $22.41.

In a rare move, the New York Stock Exchange suspended its "no jeans" policy to commemorate the offering, transforming the floor from suits and ties into a sea of blue denim, with its traders sporting jeans and denim jackets.

Investors said the strong demand for shares in Levi, which owns the Dockers and Denizen brands, is a good sign for other companies eyeing an IPO this year. Ride-hailing company Lyft will sell shares to the public next week, and larger rival Uber is expected to go public later this spring.

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11:10 a.m.

Shares of Levi Strauss & Co. are soaring as the company goes public again. The stock opened at $22.22, up 31 percent from its offering price of $17, which was better than the expected range of $14 to $16.

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The broader stock markets were all up less than 1 percent.

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8:50 a.m.

The New York Stock Exchange community, including more than 300 traders, is suspending its "no jeans allowed" policy on Thursday to celebrate Levi Strauss returning to the public markets. More than 120 employees from Levi's global offices including its CEO Chip Bergh are taking part in the event and are wearing jeans and donning white T-shirt with the company's red bat wing logo.

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8:00 a.m.

Levi Strauss & Co., which gave America its first pair of blue jeans, is going public for the second time.

The 166-year-old company, which owns the Dockers and Denizen brands, previously went public in 1971, but the namesake founder's descendants took it private again in 1985.

The stock is listed under the ticker "LEVI" and is set to start trading Thursday at $17, above an originally expected range of $14 to $16.

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