Shares of budget tablet maker DataWind (TSX:DW) are up strongly today, drawing the company nearer to its recent IPO price.
Montreal-based DataWind, which was founded in 2001, began trading on the TSX on July 8th after completing an IPO of more than six-million shares at $4.75. The offering was led by Canaccord and included a syndicate of National Bank, Cormark and Haywood, who netted the company just over $30-million. The first few days of trading have been bumpy, lopping off nearly a dollar from the IPO price to close Friday at $3.80, but the stock is rebounding today. At press time, shares of DataWind were up 10.5% to $4.20.
Investors bidding up the company’s stock are betting that there is room in the market for DataWind’s ultra low-cost Android tablets. The company has made worldwide headlines by bringing the price point of its tablets to levels not seen before. Late last year, the company released its UbiSlate 7Ci, a seven-inch tablet with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of flash memory, Wi-Fi, and a 1GHz processor, in the US for $37.99.
While DataWind’s margins are predictably slim, the company sees itself as gaining a first-mover advantage in emerging markets, where it could potentially make money from services such as internet packages. Still DataWind, which lost $3.81-million on revenue of $4.81-million in the fifteen months ended March 31st, doesn’t plan to lose money on hardware forever.
“At this stage, we make a reasonable amount on the hardware and we’re okay with that, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t sell it at a loss in the future,” DataWind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli told TheNextWeb’s Josh Ong earlier this year. Tuli says it can pull profit from the 70-80% margin on touchscreens, which the company manufactures itself.