Demand Media, Nielsen Shares Jump on First Trading Day

After higher-than-expected pricings of their respective IPOs, the two companies saw strong stocks gains Wednesday, with Demand rising more than 33%.

NEW YORK - The shares of two companies with a link to the media and entertainment industries jumped on their first day of trading Wednesday in a sign of investor appetite for IPOs.

Shares of media measurement giant Nielsen, which are now trading on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol NLSN, closed up 8.7 percent at $25 after going as high as $25.78 intra-day. The firm's market capitalization at the end of the day stood at nearly $9 billion.

Internet media firm Demand Media’s stock traded as high as $25 before closing up 33.2 percent at $22.65, giving the company a market capitalization of $1.9 billion. That's above the $1.5 billion market cap of the New York Times Co. but below the $3.6 billion market value of newspaper giant Gannett.

The strong opening performance of the first two U.S. IPOs of 2011 came as the Dow Jones Industrial Average index traded above the 12,000 mark for part of the day, a key psychological mark. It last closed above that mark in Aug. 2008, but finished slightly below it on Wednesday.

After the market close on Tuesday, shares of both firms had priced above their expected price ranges in a sign of solid investor demand.

Shares of Nielsen, the biggest private equity-backed firm to go public in several years, had priced at $23 instead of the expected $20-$22 range. Demand Media’s IPO had priced at $17 after price expectations of $14-$16.