Alibaba’s IPO priced at $68 per share, giving the company a valuation of $168 billion.
It was chaos outside the NYSE, with folks lining up outside the exchange to get a slice of China’s exploding internet sector.
Here was a massive Chinese e-commerce company that was seen as a huge threat to giants like Amazon and eBay. Earlier this year, Wells Fargo analysts said the company was on its way to become bigger than Wal-Mart.
After the IPO, shares enjoyed a rush of enthusiasm from investors, surging about 30% to its peak near $119.15 a share in November – less than two months after going public. Alibaba also became a favorite holding for hedge funds.
But few public companies have been as controversial in the past year.
There were fraud allegations. The Chinese government said the company was not working hard enough to deal with people who sold fake goods on Taobao, its largest online selling platform. A separate report said vendors were “brushing”, or paying people to leave positive reviews online.
More recently, Barron’s magazine published the scathing cover story last weekend, saying that its shares could fall 50%, and doubting the integrity of its financial numbers. The company, of course,
Since it peaked last November, the stock has fallen steadily, and is now down 30% from its IPO price, closing at $65.96 on Thursday.