The long-awaited tracking stocks of Liberty Media Corp. -- Liberty Interactive and Liberty Capital -- began trading on the NASDAQ Exchange Wednesday, with shares of slower-growth Liberty Capital outpacing those of higher-growth Liberty Interactive by a wide margin.
Liberty Media -- the Denver-based media giant headed by cable legend John Malone -- first proposed the trackers in November. Liberty is a pioneer of the tracking-stock concept, which tracks a company’s performance but isn’t backed by hard assets.
The idea was to unlock the value of Liberty’s higher-growth assets like QVC Inc., Provide Commerce Inc. and its interest in InterActiveCorp and Expedia Inc. in the Liberty Interactive entity.
The remaining Liberty Media assets -- Starz Entertainment Group LLC; On Command Corp.;True Point; WildBlue Communications Inc.; its stock holdings in several media companies, including News Corp.; and its interests in cable networks GSN and Court TV -- are contained in Liberty Capital.
Liberty Interactive, trading under the symbol LINTA, opened at $20.25 per share but dipped as low as $19 each before closing at $19.50 per share, down 75 cents. Liberty Capital, which trades under the symbol LCAPA, had a better showing, opening at $73.50 per share and rising as high as $80.45 each before closing at $79.17, up $5.67 each or 7.7%.
Both stocks began when-issued trading on NASDAQ May 4 at prices ranging from $20.14-$20.27 per share for Liberty Interactive and $72.25-$72.80 for Liberty Capital.