Biofuel firm KiOR closes flat in IPO

Biofuel firm KiOR, which debuted on the Nasdaq Friday morning priced at $15 per share, also closed the day at $15 per share — in other words, as flat as a Britney Spears high note. The day of flat trading followed the company pricing its shares significantly under its estimated pricing of $19 to $21 per share.

Not a great performance, but not all that bad either. The company made $150 million in the IPO, and could sell another 1.5 million shares. And flat is always better than down (though it’s only the first day).

KiOR’s price could stay in that range for a while, if two other biofuel IPOs are any indicator. Amyris (a AMRS) and Gevo (s GEVO) have managed to keep their share prices mostly from dropping. Amyris’ shares are trading at double its debut price, and Gevo is trading around the same as its debut price at $15 per share. KiOR’s shares are bouncing slightly down in after-hours trading, but we’ll see next week where the stock heads.

Four-year-old KiOR has ambitions to cheaply turn wood chips into a substitute for crude oil, which can then be used by the world’s oil refining industry. KiOR plans to use the funds from its IPO to build up to five plants, which in total will cost $1 billion. The first one is supposed to be built in Columbus, Miss., will cost $190 million, and is already funded, says KiOR.