Jan. 24 --Rice Energy Inc. shares struggled to gain ground in their debut Friday on the New York Stock Exchange . The stock opened at $21.90 and quickly rose as high as $22.50 per share. By 11 a.m. it was back to its initial public offering price of $21 per share. Energy companies have been struggling with IPOs this year after a hot fall. Three of four other energy companies with January IPOs finished their first day below their offer prices, according to Renaissance Capital LLC , which tracks IPOs. The energy industry had been hot as recently as the fall when Antero Resources Corp. , which drills in Appalachia, had one of the year's most successful offerings. It raised $1.57 billion with a stock price that jumped 18 percent to $52.01 when it made its debut in October. Rice had priced its IPO in the high range of its initial estimates. The $21 price values the company at about $2.7 billion . The company and one of its stockholders plans to sell 44 million shares, raising $924 million . Rice would get about $594.5 million that it plans to use largely to pay off debt and help fund its $1 billion investment for gas development in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of Western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio , it has said in its news releases. Timothy Puko is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991 or firstname.lastname@example.org . ___ (c)2014 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib Distributed by MCT Information Services
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