Millennial Media goes public

It's not every day that Baltimore has a company going public — for tech firms, in fact, it’s been years. Until March, that is, when Canton-based Millennial Media closed its first day as a public company with a value of nearly $1.9 billion.

The mobile advertising company is part of a youthful sector targeting the tempting market of cellphone and smartphone users. Millennial — which places customers’ ads on phones by cutting deals with mobile app developers — says its network can reach 300 million people worldwide.

Still, Millennial's stock price hasn’t had a repeat of its high-flying first day on the New York Stock Exchange, when shares closed at $25 a share — almost double the opening price. Shares have averaged about $14 this year. The company’s stock closed Friday at $11.99 a share, below its initial opening price of $13.

Next year could be a key one for the 61/2-year-old company, with ramifications for the city as well. Two analysts who cover Millennial expect it will break into profitability for the first time. And its fast growth paired with insufficient parking near its headquarters in the American Can Company complex has CEO Paul Palmieri talking about moving out when the lease expires in 2013 — perhaps out of Baltimore entirely.

Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore Sun
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