Business

CarGurus debuts on stock market Thursday

CarGurus said its revenue for the first half of 2017 was $143.3 million, a 70 percent increase over the comparable period last year.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/File 2014

CarGurus said its revenue for the first half of 2017 was $143.3 million, a 70 percent increase over the comparable period last year.

CarGurus Inc., the Cambridge online automotive shopping company, is set to go public on Thursday with an initial public offering of stock that could raise $162 million.

Nasdaq said the shares will be traded on its Global Select market under the ticker symbol CARG.

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Founded in 2005 by TripAdvisor cofounder Langley Steinert, CarGurus has grown into a powerhouse in the digital car sales business.

The company said in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that comScore rates CarGurus as the nation’s most visited online automotive marketplace.

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CarGurus pitches itself as a transparent way to shop, allowing users to see if a given price is normal for the market where they are buying. The company makes money by charging some dealers to connect with prospects, as well as through advertising sales.

CarGurus said its revenue for the first half of 2017 was $143.3 million, a 70 percent increase over the comparable period last year. The results have led to a profit, with net income of $8.6 million through June 30 this year.

CarGurus plans to sell 9.4 million shares, but even after the IPO, Steinert — who is chief executive, president, and chairman — will continue to steer the company.

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The offering will leave him with a majority of voting stock and “the ability to control the outcome of matters submitted to our stockholders for approval, including the election of our directors, as well as the overall management and direction of our company,” the SEC filing said.

Andy Rosen can be reached at andrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andyrosen.
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