Software Company ExactTarget Shares Soar after IPO

Shares of ExactTarget Inc. were up nearly 28 percent in their New York Stock Exchange debut late on Thursday morning, buoyed by investor demand for cloud computing companies.

The Indianapolis-based company sold 8.5 million shares in its IPO at $19, above the expected range of $15 to $17, raising $161.5 million.

By late morning on Thursday, the stock was up 27.5 percent at $24.23.

ExactTarget sells marketing software on a subscription basis that helps companies communicate with customers through e-mail, mobile and social media. Its clients include Priceline.comMicrosoft Corp.and Angie’s List.

ExactTarget’s revenue grew 55 percent in 2011 to $207.5 million. Its net loss, however, widened to $35.4 million from $12.1 million.

The global cloud-computing market is expected to reach $148.8 billion by 2014, according to information technology research company Gartner Inc.

ExactTarget’s IPO is one of several recent stock debuts by companies that offer software as a service. Other strong market debuts in the SaaS field within the last few months included Demandware Inc, Bazaarvoice Inc, Guidewire Inc and Jive Software Inc.

Underwriters of ExactTarget’s IPO included J.P. MorganDeutsche Bank and Stifel Nicolaus Weisel.