Cheetah Mobile shares surge in market debut

Cheetah's anti-virus mobile model

Cheetah Mobile's shares spiked in their market debut, valuing the Chinese security software maker at about $2.2 billion, after its initial public offering was priced near the top end of the expected range.

Earlier on Thursday, the company said its offering of 12 million American depositary shares (ADSs) was priced at $14 each, raising $168 million .

Cheetah had said it expected its IPO to be priced between $12.50 and $14.50 per ADS.

The Beijing-based company provides security and optimization software used both in smartphones and PCs. Its apps such as Clean Master and Battery Doctor are popular on Google Play.

Cheetah's shares opened at $15.25 and touched a high of $15.89 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company is being spun out of software maker Kingsoft, which will retain control with about 54 percent of Class B shares and 4.7 percent of Class A shares.

Tencent Holdings, currently China's largest listed internet company and owner of the mobile messaging app WeChat, is the second-biggest shareholder in Cheetah with an 18 percent stake.

Cheetah's app Clean Master, which boosts memory in smartphones and protects users' data, had 237.3 million downloads and 72.9 million average daily active users in March, the company said.

The company also makes an internet browser for mobile phones and PCs. The company's rivals include Qihoo 360 Technology, another U.S.-listed Chinese company.

Cheetah's revenue more than doubled in 2013, while its profit surged 530 percent. The company had net income of $3 million and revenue of $50.8 million in the quarter ended March 31.

Net proceeds from the offering will be used for marketing and other corporate purposes, Cheetah said in the filing.

Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse were among the underwriters for the IPO.

Chinese companies are flocking to the U.S. market in their biggest numbers since 2010, encouraged by high investor demand for technology start-ups.

Some 30 Chinese companies could list in the United States this year, according to investment bankers interviewed by Reuters.

Listings by overseas companies accounted for 16 percent of the 68 U.S. IPOs this year as of March 18, raising $1.9 billion.

Alibaba Group filed for its hugely anticipated IPO on Tuesday. E-commerce company is also likely to go public soon.

Twitter-like messaging service Weibo had a successful debut in April, with its shares soaring as much as 19 percent when they listed.