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Marlin IPO Prices to Move

Equipment lessor Marlin Business Services (MRLN - Get Report) rose 15% on its first day of trading, in another sign of strength for the IPO market.

Marlin sold 4.4 million shares at $14 a share, the middle of its proposed range, valuing the deal at about $62 million. Of that amount, selling shareholders are unloading about 1.3 million shares. U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray and William Blair were the underwriters.

Ahead of Marlin's debut, some worried about the pricing. "Mid-range pricing is not a curse, but a higher degree of confidence comes into these IPOs when pricing is at the upper end," wrote David Menlow, president of IPOFinancial, in pre-open commentary.

Nevertheless, the stock, which gained $2.15, or 15.4%, to $16.15 Wednesday, had a better debut than many of the recent biotech offerings. Last week, Nitromed (NTMD) and drug manufacturer Pharmion (PHRM) fell below their issue prices on their opening days.

Unlike those companies, Marlin is profitable. The financer of commercial equipment, such as copiers and computers, earned $718,000 in the six months ended June 30, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. It has recorded net income in each of the last three years.

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