Hyatt Hotels Corp shares jumped 8 percent in their debut on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, spurred by the hotel company's strong balance sheet and low valuation.

The $950 million initial public offering of Chicago-based Hyatt is the second-largest on the NYSE this year, after Banco Santander .

Hyatt shares surged to $27 in early trading alongside an upswing in the broader stock market. The shares priced at $25 on Wednesday, within the expected range.

Proceeds from the sale of the 38 million Class-A shares will go to the Pritzker family, which controls the company.

The jump in Hyatt's stock was due in large part to its favorable pricing compared to its peers and its strong cash position, said Scott Sweet, a senior managing director at advisory firm IPO Boutique.

Hyatt has $1.3 billion in cash, more than five times that of its rivals, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts , combined.

The initial surge of Hyatt shares instills some much-needed confidence back into an IPO market that has had three deals in one week postponed, Sweet said.

Analysts had raised concerns about the level of control the Pritzkers plan to exert over the company by retaining the bulk of the voting rights. Hyatt warned in its prospectus that a disagreement among the Pritzkers could pressure shares.

But Sweet said investors had shelved those worries for the time being and looked at the balance sheet.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)