Arm CEO Rene Haas and executives cheer, as Softbank’s Arm, chip design firm, holds an initial public offering (IPO) at Nasdaq Market site in New York, U.S., September 14, 2023.
Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters
Arm Holdings, the chip design company controlled by SoftBank, jumped 10% in its first day of trading on Thursday after selling shares at $51 a piece in its IPO.
At the open, Arm was valued at almost $60 billion. The company, trading under ticker symbol “ARM,” sold around 95.5 million shares. SoftBank, which took the company private in 2016, controls around 90% of shares outstanding.
On Wednesday, Arm priced shares at the upper end of its expected range.
It’s a hefty premium for the British chip company. At a $60 billion valuation, Arm’s price-to-earnings multiple would be over 110 based on the most recent fiscal year profit. That’s comparable to Nvidia’s valuation, which trades at 108 times earnings, but without Nvidia’s 170% growth forecast for the current quarter.
In a presentation to investors, Arm said it expects the total market for its chip designs to be worth about $250 billion by 2025, including growth in chip designs for data centers and cars. Arm’s revenue in its fiscal year that ended in March slipped less than 1% from the prior year to $2.68 billion.
Arm’s critical customers, including Apple, Google, Samsung and TSMC, were expected to buy shares in the offering, a testament to the cmpanys influence on the global semiconductor industry.
In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son emphasized how Arm technology is used in artificial intelligence chips, as he seeks to tie the firm to the recent boom in AI and machine learning. He also said he wanted to keep the company’s remaining Arm stake as long as possible.
The debut could kick open the market for technology IPOs, which have been paused for nearly two years. It’s the biggest technology offering of 2023.
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