About one year since Century Communities raised $241 million via a 144a public offering of 12,075,000 shares of common stock, Century triggered an official equity offering of 4.5 million shares, each pricing at $23 a share. Listing on the NYSE under the symbol CCS, with FBR Capital Markets, J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank acting as lead managers on the deal, Century becomes the 8th privately-held home builder to go public in the past 18 months.
We spoke briefly with co-chief executive officer Rob Fancescon shortly after he and his brother Dale and a group of VIP investors and team members opened proceedings yesterdaymorning at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
Century's share price triangulated at $23 at opening, which was the low-end of a $23 to $26 range, but unlike several other home builders whose shares priced below the range, investors seemed to affirm Century's 13-year proven track record of performance, in contrast to some of the other companies that IPO'd, whose pro formas and profit histories didn't go back more than a few months.
"Ours is a more mature business than some of the other IPOs that have come out more recently," Rob Francescon told us. "We’ve been profitable since our inception in 2002, and we worked profitably right through the worst of the recession years."
The good news in the Century IPO, we think, is that the investment community showed it still has enthusiasm for the prospects of the single-family for-sale housing cycle, which has been running hot and cold as it claws toward a recovered "new normal."
Rob Francescon said that from the time the company went through the 144a with 72 investors, Century began behaving with the professional discipline of a public company, which prepared his team to go through the past several weeks of demonstrating to investors it would continue to iterate its success pattern.
Francescon noted that the capital raise would go toward a continued aggressive plan for growth.