Torch Offshore peaks at $19/share on first day of trading

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, June 7 -- Trading for Torch Offshore Inc., New Orleans, opened Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol TORC at $18.10/share, beating its initial public offering estimated price of $16/share.

Established in 1978, Torch Offshore operates a fleet of vessels engaged in offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction for the oil and gas industry.

Throughout the first day of trading, the stock sold for between $16.53-$19/share. It closed at $16.63/share on a volume of 6.26 million shares.

UBS Warburg LLC was the lead manager of the offering. CIBC World Markets and Howard Weil, a division of Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., were comanagers.

Allen Brooks, CIBC World Markets oil field services analyst, told OGJ Online, "It's a good little company that came out at the right time."

The industry's emphasis on deepwater drilling helped attract interest in the IPO, he said.

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