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Big IPO for Baltimore tech firm Millennial Media

NEW YORK— Shares of Millennial Media nearly doubled in the mobile advertising company’s market debut Thursday, as the IPO market heats up this spring.

Millennial’s quick ascent follows pasta maker Annie Inc.’s splash Wednesday. Shares jumped 89 percent in Annie’s debut, which had been the biggest opening day since jobs networking site LinkedIn Corp. went public in May 2011, closing up 109 percent in its first day of trading.

Millennial, trading under the “MM” ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange, was one of four companies that went public Thursday and 10 this week.

Consumers’ fast-growing demand for smartphones and tablets and appetite for the apps they download on those devices is powering Millenial’s growth. The company said its MYDAS mobile ad platform reached more than 300 million unique users worldwide in February, including about 140 million unique users in the U.S. It determines what ads to deliver through mobile apps, when and to whom. It said its developer base includes The New York Times, games maker Zynga and online radio company Pandora.

The Baltimore company and its stockholders raised $132.6 million in an initial public offering of 10.2 million shares on Wednesday night. Shares priced at $13 each, the high end of the predicted range. Millennial had increased the expected price range to $11 to 13 per share on Tuesday from its initial estimate of a $9 to $11 price per share. That’s a sign of strong demand for the stock.

Millennial wants to use money from the IPO for general corporate purposes such as expanding overseas and developing products, or possibly acquisitions.

Millennial lost $5.3 million for the year ended Dec. 31, which is nearly half of its loss of $10.1 million in the previous year. Its full-year revenue more than doubled to $103.7 million from $47.8 million.

Millennial’s shares closed at $25, more than 92 percent. The shares traded as high as $27.90 in earlier Thursday trading.

The other companies launching IPOs Thursday were San Mateo, Calif.-based CafePress Inc., a website that lets customers make custom T-shirts and other products, which gained 14 percent; Milwaukee manufacturer Rexnord Corp., which added 10 percent; and biopharmaceutical Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass., which dropped 10 percent.