Marlin IPO Prices to Move

Equipment lessor Marlin Business Services ( MRLN) 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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