Rosetta Stone issues strong IPO

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Language-learning software company Rosetta Stone’s initial public offering was the most successful IPO to hit the stock market in a year.

The company sold 6.25 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Underwritesr priced the IPO at $18 per share, although the company had predicted a range of $15 to $17. The stock’s price soared almost 40 percent throughout the day.

Rosetta Stone offers software programs in 31 languages, which are used by individuals, schools and organizations.

The company raised $112 million from the sale. It plans to use part of the money to expand its international offerings.

Rosetta Stone is based in Arlington County and has a distribution center in Harrisonburg, where the company was founded in 1992 as Fairfield Language Technologies. Private investment firms ABS Capital Partners and Norwest Equity Partners bought the company in 2006.

The company reported revenues of $209.4 million last year and a $13.9 million profit. 

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