FILE- In this Feb. 9, 2018 photo Bart Sights, head of the Eureka Lab, compares the markings and damage on jeans that he guesses are close to 30 years old, left, to jeans made within a few hours of this photograph at Levi's innovation lab in San Francisco. On Thursday, March 21, 2019, Levi Strauss & Co. is going back to the public markets after 34 years. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

The Latest: Levi Strauss public again, stock surges

March 21, 2019 - 11:15 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on Levi Strauss & Co.'s initial public offering (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

Shares of Levi Strauss & Co. are soaring as the company goes public again. The stock opened at $22.22, up 31 percent from its offering price of $17, which was better than the expected range of $14 to $16.

The broader stock markets were all up less than 1 percent.

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8:50 a.m.

The New York Stock Exchange community, including more than 300 traders, is suspending its "no jeans allowed" policy on Thursday to celebrate Levi Strauss returning to the public markets. More than 120 employees from Levi's global offices including its CEO Chip Bergh are taking part in the event and are wearing jeans and donning white T-shirt with the company's red bat wing logo.

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8:00 a.m.

Levi Strauss & Co., which gave America its first pair of blue jeans, is going public for the second time.

The 166-year-old company, which owns the Dockers and Denizen brands, previously went public in 1971, but the namesake founder's descendants took it private again in 1985.

The stock is listed under the ticker "LEVI" and is set to start trading Thursday at $17, above an originally expected range of $14 to $16.

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