Casper Sleep is having an interesting first day on the New York Stock Exchange.
After lowering its share price by 30% yesterday, the cult mattress brand debuted at $12 a share this morning. It opened at $14.50 only to see a significant bump in early trading—at one point, the stock price jumped as high as 29%. It’s since cooled off a bit, but from the looks of things, Casper could easily close out the trading day well above where it started.
That doesn’t mean all the naysayers who scoffed at Casper’s inflated valuation and lofty prospectus were wrong. The company lost $92 million in 2018, thanks in part to enormous sales and marketing expenses and a generous return policy that makes it a little too easy to return a mattress—not always the best idea for big-ticket items. And even as shares spiked today, they did not quite hit the $17-$19 range that Casper was initially planning on.
In the short term, Casper will remain an interesting test of whether investors have completely lost their appetite for high-flying-but-unprofitable startups in the post-WeWork era.
As for the company’s long-term prospects, those remain to be seen. Casper’s CEO, Philip Krim, downplayed the company’s reduced valuation in an interview today with CNBC, saying, “Valuations are just moments in time.” Translation: Only time will tell if the mattress brand still has the stuff to become a sleeping giant.