Green Dot Hits the Mark

Green Dot IPO (NYSE: GDOT) The Green Dot Corp. share offering is off to a strong start. The Monrovia, CA provider of prepaid debit cards and prepaid debit card reloading services offered 4,558,050 shares of its Class A common stock to the public today under the symbol NYSE:GDOT. As of midday, the issue is trading well above its offering price of $36.00 per share.

Green Dot Corp. sent bullish signals to the market by upping its offering price to $36 a share the evening before the offering. The stock had been expected to be listed at between $32 to $35 per share.

At 2pm Eastern, the shares were trading at over $44, just off their high of near $45. Over 4 Million shares have traded.

Several events over the last week may have lead to the high demand for GDOT, including Green Dot’s increase in the initial share price, their increase of the number of shares offered (Green Dot added an additional 8% of shares from its original prospectus), and the signing (just yesterday) of H.R.4173 – Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The financial reform bill specifically excluded reloadable prepaid debit cards (such as those offered by Green Dot) from a number of provisions, including provisions relating to debit cards and interchange.

Wal-mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is a big beneficiary of the Green Dot IPO, holding 2,208,552 Class A shares (although Wal-Mart is not selling those shares in today’s offering). Trading at midday values Wal-Mart’s stake at over $97 Million.

Another big beneficiary is Green Dot Corp. CEO Steven Streit, who was expected to sell 1.59 million Class A shares today.

Green Dot Corp. is the first major prepaid debit card company to go public, with its competitor, NetSpend Corp. next in line for an IPO.

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