This Day In Market History: Netflix Goes Public

Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that occurred on this date.

What Happened?

On this day 16 years ago, Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) went public.

Where The Market Was

The Dow finished the day at 10,216.08. The S&P 500 traded at 1,097.08. Today, the Dow is trading at 24,762.82 and the S&P 500 is trading at 2,714.90.

What Else Was Going On In The World?

In 2002, U.S. Airways filed for bankruptcy after its business took a major hit following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Kmart Corp, which is now owned by Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: SHLD) became the largest U.S. retail company to ever file for bankruptcy. The average American income was $42,409.

The Netflix IPO

Netflix has unquestionably been one of the biggest success stories of the 21st century, and the company’s life on the public markets began humbly in May of 2002.

At the time, Netflix’s business model involved mailing its 600,000 subscribers DVDs in small envelopes. Its market cap was around $300 million at the time of its IPO. Today, Netflix has a market cap of more than $147 billion and is the global leader in online TV and video entertainment.

Netflix’s IPO priced at $15 per share. Since its first day of trading, the stock has been one of the top performers in the entire market, leading the nine-year bull market rally and returning a mind-boggling 27,680 percent.

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