ExactTarget Soars in Debut After Initial Public Offering

ExactTarget Inc., the e-mail marketing company that counts Microsoft Corp. and Groupon Inc. as customers, gained 32 percent in its trading debut after pricing its initial public offering above the range.

ExactTarget rose to $25.11 at the close in New York. The Indianapolis-based company raised $161.5 million selling 8.5 million shares at $19 apiece yesterday, after planning to sell them for $15 to $17 each, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

ExactTarget, which canceled a previous plan go public amid the 2009 financial crisis, joins other newly public companies that deliver marketing software to businesses via the Internet. Bazaarvoice Inc., which raised $114 million last month, has gained 51 percent since its debut. Responsys Inc. went public in April and Eloqua Ltd. in August filed to sell shares.

ExactTarget provides computer programs that companies use to customize e-mails and social media ads according to user preferences, which are tracked through clicks. The company, led by Chief Executive Officer Scott Dorsey, lost money in three of the past five years, with a net loss of $35.4 million in 2011. Sales increased 55 percent last year to $207.5 million.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and Stifel Financial Corp. led the offering. Technology Crossover Ventures, which held about 26 percent of ExactTarget before the sale, now holds about 22 percent.

ExactTarget plans to use proceeds from the sale for general purposes, including expanding sales and marketing and overseas operations. The shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ET.