Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ:CZR) saw its stock surge as high as 79 percent Wednesday, following its IPO, with the casino owner and operator selling only a small slice of its stock to investors.
The company's stock opened at $9.06 this morning on the Nasdaq, up a tad from its IPO price of $9.0. As of late afternoon, its shares were 73 percent higher at $15.57.
But Caesars only sold 1.8 million shares of its stock at the middle of its $8 to $10 expected range, or around 1.4 percent of its total shares outstanding.
The Las-Vegas based company owns, operates or manages 52 casinos, mainly in the U.S. and England, under the Caesars, Harrah's and Horseshoe brands in the U.S.
The company's largest investors, buyout firms Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital, are not among those that sold their stock.
According to reports, Caesars has worked out a deal with some previous private investors, allowing them to sell shares right away.
The company's financials have been on the decline since 2007, with average daily hotel rates slumping. Apollo and TPG acquired the casino giant in 2008, just as the downturn began to take shape.
In the first three quarters of 2011, revenue fell 0.5 percent to $6.66 billion, while net loss narrowed to $471 million, compared with a loss of $629 million in the same period of 2010.
The casino operator also hoards a significant amount of debt - with $22 billion as at the end of September 2011. It also owes $1.7 billion in interest payments over the next 12 months.
The company was de-listed in 1980 after being acquired by Holiday Inns, and in 1995, it made its debut again, only to be taken off the market by Apollo and TPG in 2008 in an LBO.