A much-hyped Wall Street debut for Funko flopped last Thursday, with the worst first-day return for an initial public offering (IPO) in 17 years. The figurine manufacturer has grown in popularity over recent years, offering unique and adorable collectibles for everything from film and TV to the world of sports.
While rush for Funko Pop! figures from consumers seemingly will never end – with new lines for popular movies like Justice League and TV series like Stranger Things coming out all the time – the same cannot be said about the company’s stock.
With shares starting at $12, as Seattle Times summarizes, Funko shares plummeted to $7.07 by the end of the day, more than 40 percent. For reference, the initial offering price was first anticipated to be between $14 and $16. The news comes as a massive disappointment for Funko, whose offering was backed by big Wall Street names including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch. The company aimed to sell at least 13.3 million shares, for around $245 million – instead, it sold 10.4 million shares at the aforementioned price of $12, the total being $125 million, far below initial expectations.
The company is known to be in massive debt, with much of its money going to private equity owners; the IPO was launched in the hopes of alleviating some of this debt. Knowledge of this, and the company’s “fun-house accounting,” could be factors that contributed to this rough start for Funko’s IPO.
It just goes to show that having a popular product, especially one associated with so many popular licenses (Marvel, DC, and essentially every major film, television show or video game one can think of), doesn’t make the company a guaranteed bet for such a venture. While the numbers appear relatively dire, Funko is not the only modern company to have a rough start such as this. The IPO for dominant social network Facebook was considered to be a disappointment on its first day, and other big companies such as Snap Inc. (the company behind Snapchat) and Blue Apron have underperformed as of late.
We’ll have to wait and see how Funko’s initial stumbling on Wall Street will affect the collectible toy market in the near future. Funko products are still selling like crazy, especially coinciding with big blockbuster movie or television show releases – the company’s sale numbers increase with each year. By touting the company’s ability to intertwine with the biggest pop culture releases and trends of the day, perhaps Funko can convince investors to jump on board.
But as of now, Funko has not publicly spoken or released any statements to the press about their current performance in the stock market. In the meanwhile, collectors are still free to ravenously hunt for those rare figures.
Source: Seattle Times
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