Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.
What Happened: On this day in 2009, insurance risk specialist Verisk Analytics, Inc. VRSK completed its $1.88-billion IPO.
Where The Market Was: The Dow closed at 9,731.25 and the S&P 500 traded at 1,054.72.
What Else Was Going On In The World: In 2009, Somali pirates kidnapped Captain Richard Phillips as a hostage in an attempt to hijack the MV Maersk Cargo Ship. The World Health Organization declared the H1N1 influenza strain, or “swine flu,” a pandemic. The average cost of a new house was $232,880.
Verisk Ges Public: In the middle of an ongoing financial crisis, insurance risk specialist Verisk completed the largest U.S. IPO in over a year in October 2009, pricing its IPO shares at $22, above its target range of $19 to $21. All 82.2 million of Verisk’s IPO shares were sold by existing investors, including American International Group Inc AIG and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc HIG.
In fact, the only major investor not to sell its ownership stake in Verisk during the IPO was Warren Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B). Investors saw Buffett’s decision not to sell as a vote of confidence in the stock, which soared nearly 24% in its first day of trading.
In fact, Buffett held his stake for roughly another nine years. At the time Buffett disclosed his Verisk sale in August 2018, the stock was trading at around $117, representing roughly a 432% gain from its IPO price.
Today, Verisk shares trade at around $202 and the company has a $32.5-billion market cap.
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