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JetBlue shakes off airline gloom in stunning take-off

Issuer: JetBlue Airways CorpAmount: $158.4 millionLaunched: April 11 2002Lead manager: Morgan Stanley


The stunning Nasdaq IPO of low-fare airline JetBlue Airways Corp on April 11 generated extraordinary excitement in an industry plagued by losses and retrenchment, and in the sleepy IPO market.

The IPO, for which Morgan Stanley was the sole bookrunner, consisted of an offering of 5.87 million shares, equivalent to about 14% of the company, and raised $158.4 million. It priced at $27, outside the expected $25 to $26 price range, which had already been increased from an initial range of $22 to $24. The offering attracted an incredible $3.9 billion-worth of demand, outstripping supply by about 26 times.

The shares rose by 50% within the first half-hour and closed up $18 at $45, a one-day increase of 66.7%. The rise was the most substantial one-day increase since Simplex Solutions' 77% rise following its debut in May last year, and compares with an average first-day trading gain of less than 1% for IPOs so far this year.

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