Equities ended their best quarter for nearly a decade on a positive note, after a key inflation rate fell short of expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^ DJI) rose 10.9% in 2019 and the S & P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^ GSPC) rose 12.9%.
Today's Stock Exchange
|Index||Percentage Change||Point Change|
|S & P 500|| 0.67%  19659009] Data source: Yahoo! Finance
As for the individual shares, so Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) debuted today as a listed company and the merger between Bristol-Myers Squibb ] (NYSE: BMY) and Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) received some votes of confidence.
Lyft made a good start
The shares of carpooling specialist Lyft were traded today in one of the most anticipated IPOs of the year. The stock was up 8.7% from its issue price of $ 72 ($ 78.29).
Lyft offered 32,500,000 common shares and one option to subscribers for another 4,875,000 shares, bringing the company over $ 2.4 billion. After today's close, the company has a value in excess of $ 27 billion.
Lyft achieved $ 2.16 billion in revenue in 2018, more than twice the previous year, but lost $ 911 million, or $ 3.83 per share. Active riders increased 48% to 18.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, and revenue per driver increased 32% to $ 36.04.
The market is thrilled with Lyft's rapid growth. The company appears to be on a path to profitability, but investors need to consider whether Lyft has a competitive advantage over Uber, whose IPO could soon be available, and whether the fundamentals support such a hefty valuation.
Celgene merger with Bristol-Myers Squibb has become more secure
A successful merger between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene is looking more like independent proxy advisory firms such as Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co., which are shareholders have agreed to deal. Celgene shares were up 7.9% to $ 94.34 and Bristol-Myers shares were down 0.3% to $ 47.71.
Bristol-Myers and Celgene made headlines in the first week of 2019 when they announced the $ 74 billion cash-and-stock transaction. The offering includes $ 50 in cash and one Bristol-Myers share for each Celgene share and $ 9 in eventual value if three development-in-progress therapies are approved within specified deadlines. Doubts about whether the shareholders would approve the merger had led to the Celgene share being sold at a substantial discount to the offer price. Starboard withdrew its resistance today in a press release.
Even with the proxy service recommendations, the merger is not entirely secure. Earlier this week, companies announced that the US Federal Trade Commission is reviewing its pipelines and marketed products for psoriasis. With Celgene now trading within 4% of the offer price, the market appears to be finally convinced that the deal will go through.