Caesars jumps 33 percent in 1st day of trading

NEW YORK (AP) ? Shares of casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp. jumped 33 percent Wednesday in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq.

The company’s stock rose $2.97, or 33 percent, to $11.97 in morning trading. Caesars had priced its initial public offering of 1.8 million shares at $9 apiece.

The Las Vegas company said late Tuesday that it expected to raise about $16 million from the offering before deducting costs. The offering values Caesars at about $1.14 billion overall because it includes just 1.4 percent of the company’s outstanding stock.

In 2007, when Caesars was known as Harrah’s, Apollo Management Group and Texas Pacific Group paid $17.1 billion and assumed $12.4 billion in debt to take the company private.

When it first filed to go public in October 2010 as Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., the company planned to raise as much as $575 million. It scaled that back to $530 million, then canceled the proposal entirely, blaming market conditions.

The company restarted its IPO plans in November as the IPO market heated up again with several attention-getting tech offerings. At that point, it expected to raise about $50 million.

Caesars has said it would end up with net proceeds of $13.1 million selling the 1.8 million shares for $9, after deducting bank fees and other expenses. It plans to use the funds for general purposes including development.

Most of Caesars’ casinos are in the U.S. and the U.K., while casino revenue is growing fastest in the major Asian markets.

Caesars is trading under the “CZR” ticker symbol.