On Pins and Needles: Investors Await Pinterest IPO

April 17, 2019

By Spencer Feingold

Pinterest will trade under the ticker PINS on the New York Stock Exchange with a price of $19 per share, higher than the expected range.

The company announced Monday that it planned to sell 75 million shares for $15 to $17 a piece. That's less than the company’s pre-IPO share price of more than $20, which had valued the company at $12 billion. The new price values the company around $10 billion.

Analysts this week praised Pinterest for setting a “realistic” share price range .

Pinterest said its growth strategy is based on improving products for its users, known as Pinners; making the site more shoppable; increasing advertising products; and developing stronger relationships with brand marketers.

“We’re still in the early stages of our monetization efforts,” the company wrote in its filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. “Our ability to develop new and improve existing advertising products will be an important driver of our future growth.”

Used mainly as an online platform for sharing design interests, Pinterest has grown to 250 million active monthly users who have created more than 4 billion visual inspiration boards since the company’s founding in 2010.

The San Francisco-based company earned close to $756 million in 2018, an increase from nearly $473 million in revenue the year before, according to its SEC filing. However, Pinterest generated a net loss of $63 million in 2018 and $130 million in 2017.

In its value proposition to advertisers, Pinterest touted its much-sought-after millennial audience, 67 percent of which is female. That includes eight out of 10 moms in the U.S., women who “are often the primary decision-makers when it comes to buying products and services for their household,” according to the company.

Pinterest also said that since consumers use the platform for inspiration, the “alignment between Pinner and advertiser objectives differentiates Pinterest from other services."

Pinterest, however, isn't profitable, making it the latest tech startup to go public before proving to investors it can make more money than it spends to sustain its business.

In its filing with the SEC, the company gave no assurances: “We have not achieved profitability, and we may not realize sufficient revenue to achieve profitability in future periods.”