Last updated: May 16. 2013 11:36AM - 373 Views
Associated Press

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(AP) Shares of William Lyon Homes rose during its first day as a public company, showing that there is continued interest in homebuilder stocks amid the housing market's ongoing recovery.

Last month Taylor Morrison Home Corp. began trading publicly. The IPOs of William Lyon and Taylor Morrison follow homebuilder TRI Pointe Homes Inc. in January, real estate investor Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp. in December and real estate services provider Realogy Holdings Inc. in October.

William Lyon's Thursday trading debut came as the government released mixed results for the housing market in April.

The Commerce Department said U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes, but most of the decline was in apartment construction, which can be very volatile on a month-to-month basis. Applications for new construction reached a five-year peak, evidence the housing revival will continue.

William Lyon shares climbed $1.51, or 6 percent, to $26.51 in late morning trading, after earlier spiking as high as $27.99.

The Newport Beach, Calif. company's initial public offering of 8.7 million shares was priced at $25 each, above the projected range of $22 to $24 per share. It raised $217.5 million from the offering.

William Lyon, which builds single-family homes in California, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado, is offering approximately 6.5 million shares. About 2.2 million shares are being offered by a selling stockholder. The company won't receive any proceeds from shares sold by the selling stockholder.

William Lyon anticipates about $149.9 million in net proceeds, after taking out an underwriting discount and estimated offering expenses. It plans to use the proceeds for growth capital, including the acquisition of land currently under contract or non-binding letters of intent, and for general corporate purposes.

William Lyon and selling stockholder are giving the underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to 1.3 million shares.

The stock is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the "WLH" ticker symbol.

Associated Press
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