- Posted at 12:18, October 16, 2013
- By Russ Bleemer
We have no doubt about the value of the Empire State Building. We are not Real Estate Cynics.
But we will join the naysayers in watching the new Empire State Realty Trust Inc. in its climb to stock market's highest reaches.
ESRT is the new company that began trading publicly this month, on the first trading day. The New York Stock Exchange listing ended more than a year of wrangling between longtime private shareholders and the Malkin familiy and its majority owner companies. Here's how it looked at the NYSE:
The dissenters said that the public offering was a windfall for the Malkin family, and that the building should have been auctioned and sold.
The REIT portfolio also contains 18 other Malkin properties.
At this writing, ESRT shares will set you back $13.6901, up 0.07% today, a mostly steady and modest climb from the Oct. 2 $13 opening.
Just for fun, we'll compare it to another property-centric stock that floated its public offering on the very same day, RE/MAX Holdings Inc. Cl A. That's the Denver-based franchiser of real-estate brokerages, with about 92,500 agents in 6,380 offices in 96 countries.
Sure, apples to oranges, but RE/MAX also sells commercial property, according to Hoovers, from a network of 2,700 offices in 45 countries.
For its Oct. 2 public sale, after 40 years as a privately held company, RE/MAX went out at $22, opened at $26.25, and closed at $27, which had analysts saying the housing market recovery is here. Or that RE/MAX did a good job pricing itself. Or both.
At this writing, RE/MAX is down 1.84% to $29.29 but it has traded as high as $31.65, and has stayed well above the opening day prices.