WRAPUP 2-Green Dot, Ameresco rise in NYSE debuts

* Green Dot opens 19.9 pct above its IPO price

* Ameresco shares open 2.5 pct above IPO price
(Adds CEO and analyst comments, additional byline, updates
shares)

By Clare Baldwin and Maria Aspan

NEW YORK, July 22 (BestGrowthStock) – Shares of prepaid debit-card
company Green Dot Corp (GDOT.N: ) and energy efficiency
consulting company Ameresco Inc (AMRC.N: ) rose in their market
debuts on Thursday, with Green Dot up sharply.

Shares of Green Dot opened at $43.15, 19.9 percent above
their initial public offering price on the New York Stock
Exchange. Shares of Ameresco opened at $10.25, 2.5 percent
above their IPO price, also on the New York Stock Exchange.

At midday on Thursday, Green Dot shares were up 21.8
percent at $43.84 and Ameresco shares were up 6 percent at
$10.60.

“The IPO market is improving for companies that dominate
their markets and have good topline revenue growth and are
profitable,” said IPOdesktop.com President Francis Gaskins.

“Green Dot has a lock on the big retailers.”

Green Dot, which has agreements with Wal-Mart Stores Inc
(WMT.N: ), Walgreen Co (WAG.N: ) and 7-Eleven, is the top player in
the U.S. prepaid debit card industry. It relies especially
heavily on Wal-Mart, which accounted for 63 percent of Green
Dot’s total operating revenue in the quarter ended March 31.

Analysts say Green Dot needs to reduce its reliance on the
discount retailer, which recently renewed its contract with
Green Dot until 2015. Wal-Mart also took a minority stake in
Green Dot as part of that deal.

But the prepaid company is “completely free” to pursue
partnerships with Wal-Mart’s competitors, Green Dot Chief
Executive Steve Streit said in an interview on Thursday.

“They know that we’re sold in many other retailers … and
we’re always looking for new partnerships and new expansion
opportunities,” he said.

REGULATORY LOOPHOLE

Green Dot sells prepaid debit cards to young, low-income
consumers. Such consumers typically rely heavily on cash and do
not have much access to credit.

The market for such cards is growing. Research firm
Mercator Advisory Group has predicted that Americans will load
as much as $118.5 billion onto prepaid cards by 2012, compared
with $8.7 billion they put onto such cards in 2008.

Green Dot is exempt from a provision in the financial
regulation bill which will restrict debit processing
transaction fees, known as “interchange fees,” that banks
receive from merchants. [ID:nN18149648]

The exemption will give the company a competitive
advantage, which Streit expects to enjoy for the foreseeable
future.

“Now it’s part of a landmark financial regulation bill that
I don’t think is going to grow stale in a week,” he said. “That
bill will be in place for many years to come, and it’s unlikely
that debit card interchange in and of itself will be revisited
again.”

The company on Wednesday sold 4.56 million shares for $36
each, raising about $164 million. It had planned to sell 4.17
million shares for $32 to $35 each.

Massachusetts-based Ameresco modifies heating, ventilation,
air conditioning and lighting systems to improve their
efficiency and frequently helps customers obtain third-party
financing for the projects. The company also builds small-scale
renewable energy generation stations that run on landfill gas,
biomass and solar panels.

It sold 8.7 million shares for $10 each on Wednesday,
raising about $87 million. It had planned to sell shares for
$14 to $16 each.

“With the Obama administration and efficient building
mandates and things like that, it could be a good play,” said
Darren Fabric, a managing director at IPOX Capital Management.

Green Dot’s underwriters were led by JPMorgan and Morgan
Stanley and Ameresco’s underwriters were led by Bank of America
and RBC Capital Markets.

Both companies are trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Green Dot shares are trading under the symbol “GDOT;” Ameresco
shares are trading under the symbol “AMRC.”

Investing Analysis

(Reporting by Clare Baldwin; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick
and Tim Dobbyn)

WRAPUP 2-Green Dot, Ameresco rise in NYSE debuts