(Adds company background) By Olivia Oran
Oct 12 (Reuters) - Shares of Workday Inc soared 72 percent in their market debut on Friday, as the market for enterprise software continues to hold strong.
The Pleasanton, California-based company, considered a leader in the cloud computing sector, opened New York Stock Exchange trading at $48.05 after pricing shares above the expected range at $28.00. It sold 22.75 million shares, raising $637 million.
Earlier in the week, Workday raised its price range to $24 to $26 per share from $21 to $24 per share.
The IPO values the company, founded by ex-PeopleSoft executives David Duffield and Aneel Bhusri, at almost $4.5 billion. Duffield and Bhusri left PeopleSoft following its acquisition by Oracle Corp in 2004.
Workday's revenue nearly doubled in 2011 to $134.4 million. Its net loss widened to $79.6 million from $56.2 million.
Workday's IPO is the largest in the tech sector this year besides Facebook Inc . It is also one of a slew of recent IPOs from cloud-based companies including ServiceNow Inc , Demandware Inc and Guidewire Software Inc .
Cloud computing technology, which lets customers access their data from remote servers, is thought to be faster and cheaper than traditional methods.
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were the lead underwriters for the Workday offering.
(Reporting By Olivia Oran; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)
((Olivia.Oran@thomsonreuters.com)(646 223 6335))
Keywords: WORKDAY DEBUT/