Vocera’s IPO Goes Mobile

Vocera Communications (NYSE:VCRA), which develops mobile devices for the health care industry, issued 5.85 shares at $16 each — above the $12-to-$14 price range. And in today’s trading, the stock is up 33%. The lead underwriters included JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Piper Jaffray.

Over the past decade, Vocera has manufactured wearable devices — which weigh less than 2 ounces — that allow nurses to have two-way communication. They are built to be durable, as well as usable in noisy environments.

“Our solution is fairly unique in our industry,” Vocera CEO Bob Zollars told me this morning.

These badges are connected to a hosted Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows software platform, which routes messages to the right people and includes a voice recognition system. It also can be connected to other devices, such as from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM).

Vocera’s platform is much better than traditional alternatives like pagers and clipboards, and it should result in better care for patients, as there likely will be fewer errors and faster response times.

The Vocera system has 15 issued patents and six that are pending. It also is certified for use by the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense.

Last year, Vocera posted revenues of $79.5 million, up 40% from the prior year. The company actually has four revenues streams: device purchases, software licenses, ongoing maintenance fees and services.

More than 800 hospitals are customers of Vocera. But according to a study from Billians HealthData, there are nearly 7,000 hospitals in the U.S. and they employ over 1.6 million nurses — so Vocera has plenty of market opportunity. And that’s just in hospitals.

“We also have a non-health care business for our badges,” Zollars said. “We have customers like hotels and even nuclear power plants. But this is still a small part of our revenues so far.”

And as far as Vocera is concerned, don’t worry about the Supreme Court decision on “Obamacare.” Zollars says any decision would be immaterial for the company.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “The Complete M&A Handbook,” “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli or reach him via email. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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