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Workday IPO: Shares soar 74% on debut

October 12, 2012: 5:40 PM ET

Click the chart to track Workday's stock.

Share of Workday soared 74% as they made their stock market debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company provides a cloud-based software for companies to manage human resources functions like payrolls, time tracking and employee expense management. It raised $637 million in its initial public offering after pricing 22.8 million shares at $28 a piece, $2 above the high end of its estimated range. That makes it the largest public offering for any technology company since Facebook raised $16 billion in May.

The strong debut is a big win for Workday (WDAY) founders Aneel Bhusri and David Duffield, who was also the founder and CEO of PeopleSoft, which was acquired by Oracle (ORCL) for more than $10 billion in a hostile takeover in 2004. The sharp increase also made Workday among the top five first-day gainers so far this year.

Workday's IPO has been one of the most anticipated since Facebook's. It's yet another sign of the strength of cloud-based enterprise technology companies that have gone public this year, including Palo Alto Networks (PANW) and Eloqua (ELOQ).

During the six months ended in July, Workday's revenue more than doubled -- to $119.5 million -- compared to the same period a year earlier. But the company posted a net loss of $47.3 million during the period, as it made "substantial investments" to draw new customers and develop its applications. As it continues to invest in its business, Workday said it does not expect to be profitable "for the foreseeable future."

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