Shares of HCA, the Biggest PE-Backed IPO Ever, Pop More than 3%–UPDATED

HCA, which turned in a super-sized IPO, began trading again.

Shares for HCA gained $1.02, or 3.4%, to close at $31.02 Thursday. Volume was 64.57 million on the New York Stock Exchange.

Last night, HCA raised about $3.8 billion after boosting the size of its deal and pricing at the top of its range. The hospital operator sold 126.2 million shares at $30. This is up from the 124 million shares HCA planned to sell at $27 to $30 each. The extra shares mainly came from the selling shareholders, which are the PE firms that own HCA.

HCA itself is offering 87.7 million shares while the selling stockholders—Bain, KKR, BAML Capital Partners and affiliates of founder Dr. Thomas Frist– are offering about 38.5 million (the selling shareholders had planned to sell 36.3 million shares). Underwriters on the deal have the option to buy another 18.9 million shares. BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi and J.P. Morgan are bookrunners on the deal.

Nashville-based NCA plans to use proceeds from the IPO to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

This is the third time HCA has gone public. The company was last public in 2006 when it was acquired for $21 billion by Bain, BofA, Citi and Frist.

Today, Moody’s Investor Service said the HCA IPO would have no immediate impact on the company’s “B2” corporate family rating. The ratings outlook remains positive.

“While Moody’s believes that the completion of the IPO is a credit positive since proceeds are expected to be used to repay outstanding debt, the estimated $2.6 billion of proceeds to the company won’t meaningfully reduce HCA’s $28.2 billion debt load,” Moody’s said.