initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Sunday, April 15, 2012

IPOs rise in 2012

During the first quarter of 2012, 20 companies held their IPOs, the most since the fourth quarter of 2007. The companies raised a total of $1.4 billion. By comparison, 11 companies went public in the first quarter of 2011, raising a total of $768 million.

In the pipeline is an IPO by Carmel Valley-based ServiceNow, a cloud-based information technology company. ServiceNow filed its statement on March 30; presumably it will complete the offering sometime in the second quarter.

If the ServiceNow IPO goes through, it would be San Diego County's first since The Active Network, in Sorrento Valley, went public on May 25, 2011. Active Network, which makes software for organizing events and activities, saw its stock close Monday at $16.79, down 4 cents.

And worldwide, attention is focused on social networking site Facebook's upcoming IPO, which it filed on Feb. 1.

The resurgence of IPOs is easy to explain, said John E. Fitzgibbon Jr., a veteran IPO watcher: They're where the money is.

A strong stock market pulls in money from investors, including those buying into public offerings, said Fitzgibbon, founder of, a research firm that predicts the opening-day performance of IPOs.
You don't have to look any further than the Nasdaq Composite, Fitzgibbon said. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is an indicator for IPOs, which are mainly technology companies.

It's on a 12-year recovery high, up 19 percent in the first quarter, said Fitzgibbon in comparing the quarter's performance against the quarter ended Dec. 31.

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