Fitbit makes stock market debut, share price jumps by more than 50%

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Wearable fitness tracker firm Fitbit, which competes with the Apple Watch with its own hardware, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, and investors promptly drove the company's share price up by more than 50 percent in the opening hours.

At press time, Fitbit —  which chose the ticker symbol FIT —  was trading at $30.12, a 50.75-percent increase after more than 44 millions had moved. Fitbit's initial public offering priced at $20 per share, and the increase values the company at just over $6 billion.

Fitbit is rather an outlier when it comes to Silicon Valley IPOs, which likely contributed to the fast rise. They make hardware, rather than relying on the internet or on software, and they are profitable.

Fitbit does face a major existential threat with the rise of smartwatches and other wearables from substantially larger players, including Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Previous comments from Fitbit leadership, however, suggest that the company believes it can coexist peacefully with the next generation of wearables.

"We're more than just wearables," Fitbit CEO James Park said during an interview with CNBC. "We have different products, clippable products, wrist-worn wearable products, scales, etcetera. We are going to focus a lot on software and services. So again the mission of the company, it's really to get people healthier and more active."

 
 

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