William Lyon Homes rise 2 per cent in 1st day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Shares of homebuilder William Lyon Homes rose 2 per cent after the company’s stock was sold to the public Thursday.

The stock, which had been trading over the counter before its debut Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, closed at $25.50, up 50 cents from its starting price of $25.

Shares of William Lyons that had traded over the counter closed at $29.70 Wednesday after a reverse stock split, which reduced the amount of shares available. The reverse stock split gave investors 1 new share for every 8.25 they owned.

William Lyon Homes is the latest company in the real estate industry to go public. Last month, Taylor Morrison Home Corp. began trading publicly. Before that, TRI Pointe Homes Inc. went public 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.

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.