Global Defense Technology & Systems Inc shares hovered near their initial public offering price on Friday in their first session on Nasdaq after the company's IPO priced below expectations.

Shares in the McLean, Virginia-based firm were being quoted at $13 in early trade, the same price as its IPO, which priced below the expected range of $14 to $16 on Thursday. It raised $59.8 million by selling 4.6 million common shares.

Global Defense's shares started trade at $13.05 and rose as high as $13.28 before easing back down.

The firm, which provides technology for national security agencies, drew 74 percent of its revenue from contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense in 2008.

Global Defense had revenues of $157.1 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, up about 9.7 percent from a year earlier.

The IPO's underwriters, led by Cowen and Co, Stifel Nicolaus, Raymond James and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, have the option to buy another 690,000 shares.

(Reporting by Clare Baldwin and Phil Wahba; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)