German enterprise application software maker SAP today made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "SAP," and headed straight downward to 59.5 on volume of 1.2 million shares. Shares of SAP stood at 60.12 shortly after the stock was listed.
Analysts pointed out that the slide is partly due to German and European market conditions.
"The stock is down 2 points, and the German market is also down 2 percent," said Neil Herman, an analyst with Salomon Smith Barney. "There has been a major sell-off in the German and the European market as a whole, and SAP is a victim of that."
Although no new shares were offered, the company moved its existing American Depository Receipts (ADR)--those shares that trade over the counter as so-called "pink sheets"--to the Big Board in order to make the stock more accessible to American investors.
Still, some analysts think that people may be anxious about investing in a company that is 80 percent owned in Europe until they see greater volume of shares traded on the NYSE.
Others say the company is likely to thrive once the downturn in the European markets ends.
"It is a straight listing, and there is a fair number of stock outstanding. Hopefully a lot of U.S. investors who own stock in deutsche marks [institutional investors] will begin the process of converting those shares into ADRs," said Herman. "The reality is that if the fundamentals of the company are strong, which I think they are, the stock over the long haul is likely to go up "
To mark its first day of trading on the NYSE, SAP threw a bash near the exchange. The celebration is to take place on Broad Street, which will be transformed into a sandy beach complete with a boardwalk, games, an interactive cabana, a volleyball pit, and live music.