Chewy, PetSmart's online business, soars as much 86% after IPO pricing at $22 per share

Shares of Chewy, the online pet product retailer owned by PetSmart, soared as much as 86% Friday after the company made its public debut.

Chewy, founded in 2011 by Ryan Cohen and Michael Day, calls itself the "largest pure-play pet e-tailer in the United States."

Its loyal customer base, 60% growth rate and $3.5 billion in sales, helped it to attract investors in its IPO, said Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital, which manages IPO-focused exchange traded funds.

"Today, in the United States, we're only about 14% penetrated from an online point of view," Chewy CEO Sumit Singh said on CNBC's " Squawk on the Street " before the company began trading.

PetSmart, which is backed by private equity firm BC Partners, acquired Chewy in 2017 for $3 billion.

Chewy said in its prospectus it will seek continued growth by broadening the array of products it offers, finding new customers and expanding further into pharmacy.

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