Shares of Tumi Holdings Inc. surged Thursday in the high-end luggage maker's debut as a public company.
Tumi's stock opened at $26 on the New York Stock Exchange, 44 percent higher than the $18 per share it was priced at. The company had initially expected the IPO would be priced between $15 and $17 per share.
In midday trading, the stock gained $9.70, or 54 percent, to $27.70.
Tumi, founded in 1975, began by importing leather bags from South America. It became known best known for its line of black travel bags and business cases that it began making in 1983. The company sells its products in company-owned stores and through other retailers in 65 countries.
The South Plainfield, N.J., company filed documents with the Securities & Exchange Commission for its initial public offering in December.
Tumi is offering about 15.6 million shares in the IPO, while selling stockholders are offering about 3.2 million shares. The company will not receive any proceeds from the shares sold by selling stockholders.
The offering raised about $338.4 million overall before underwriter commissions and other expenses.
The underwriters are being given the option to buy up to an additional 2.8 million shares, according to a regulatory filing.
Tumi said in a filing that it plans to use its net proceeds from the offering to buy back preferred stock and part of its common stock owned by London-based private equity firm Doughty Hanson & Co, which purchased Tumi in 2004.
The company reported 2011 net income of $16.6 million on revenue of $330 million. In 2010 it posted net income of $104,000 on revenue of $252.8 million.
Tumi is trading under the "TUMI" ticker symbol.