October 31, 2017 / 6:11 PM / a year ago

Switch dips as analysts offer mixed recommendations

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Switch Inc (SWCH.N) dipped 2 percent on Tuesday after several brokerage analysts initiated coverage of the data-center operator following its recent initial public offering.

Riding a wave of interest in tech IPOs, the Las Vegas-based company’s stock surged 23 percent in its first day of trading on Oct. 6 but has since drifted lower. It traded down 43 cents on Tuesday to $18.92, compared to its $17 IPO price.

The company operates three data centers in Michigan and Nevada. Like many recent technology IPOs, its founder and chief executive, Rob Roy, retained majority control thanks to a special share class.

At least five analysts on Tuesday started coverage of Switch with positive ratings, while another five were neutral. All were from banks that underwrote the IPO.

BMO analyst Tim Long rated Switch “outperform” with a price target of $23. He wrote in his report that benefits for Switch include data center technologies invented by Roy.

Switch’s website describes Roy as “the recognized world leader in data center ecosystem design, development, and mission critical operations,” while another website promoting Roy describes him as a “tech futurist.”

Those websites provide no information about his work experience or education prior to founding Switch in 2000 and a company spokesman declined a request for that information.

Jefferies analyst Scott Goldman described Switch as a differentiated player in the data center industry but said the stock was fairly valued, giving it a price target of $20.

Switch is scheduled to provide Wall Street its first quarterly report on Nov. 13.

Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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