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Qualtrics, SAP Spinoff, Spikes in Trading Debut

Qualtrics debuts at $41.85 a share, ahead of its suggested trading range of between $27 and $29.
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Qualtrics International  (XM) - Get Qualtrics International Inc. Report, a spinoff of Germany's SAP  (SAP) - Get SAP SE ADS Report, jumped more than 45% in the stock's trading debut on Thursday.

The company increased the size of its offering to 51.7 million shares, up from 50.4 million shares. The initial public offering price of $30 was ahead of the top of its latest range between $27 and $29 a share. 

The stock opened at $41.85 a share on Thursday.

The Provo, Utah-based company filed an amendment to its initial public offering Thursday due to concerns that parent company SAP may have violated Securities and Exchange Commission rules by touting Qualtrics stock. 

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In its amended filing, Qualtrics said there's a series of media appearances by SAP CEO Christian Klein that could have the appearance of promoting Qualtrics stock. 

Klein, who is on Qualtrics board, said that the company's IPO was "massively oversubscribed" suggesting that there was a lot of interest in the company's debut. Klein also said "we doubled the revenue since the acquisition."

"Mr. Klein's reference to doubling the revenue of (Qualtrics) since SAP acquired (Qualtrics) on January 23, 2019, was based on the revenue attributed to (Qualtrics) as a reporting segment of SAP. Mr. Klein was, in these interviews, speaking to SAP shareholders and, as such, was relying on financial information in SAP's public financial statement," Qualtrics said in response to the controversy. 

This is Qualtrics second run as a public company. The company said it will use the proceeds from the IPO to repay $1.76 billion in debt owed to SAP America with the remainder being used for working capital and other general corporate purposes.

In December, Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith purchased 6 million shares of the company at $20 a share in a private placement. Smith is the owner of the Utah Jazz NBA franchise.