By Brenon Daly
The post-IPO slide of LifeLock (NYSE:LOCK) highlights yet another case of overinflated private market valuations. The identity theft prevention vendor has had a tough run since its debut on the NYSE on Wednesday. LifeLock priced at $9 per share, which was below its expected range, and has never traded above that level in the aftermarket. In mid-Thursday afternoon trading, shares were changing hands at about $8.10.
That decline has brought LifeLock shares to nearly the same level they were when the company sold equity more than two years ago. In May 2010, Industry Ventures paid $7.88 per preferred share of LifeLock in a series E round. That’s only a 3% discount to LifeLock’s current market price.
Obviously, both valuations are just "moment in time" prices. And in this particular moment, consumer names in nearly all markets are out of favor on Wall Street. Recall that consumer Internet security provider AVAST Software pulled its IPO paperwork in late July after not being able to get a valuation it wanted.
As we look back on recent IPOs in the security market, we are reminded that where a company starts out isn’t necessarily where it ends up. For instance, enterprise security vendors Sourcefire and ArcSight both had underwhelming IPOs, trading underwater before going on a tear on Wall Street. In the end, ArcSight got taken off the board in September 2010 at four times its offering price. Meanwhile, Sourcefire is currently trading at three times the level at which it first sold shares to the public in early 2007, compared with a 30% return over that period for the Nasdaq.