initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Disappointing May for IPOs : only 10 companies went public

With no initial public offerings firmly scheduled for this week, it should be the second-lowest month so far this year based on the number of deals that were priced, after January's paltry three. In May 2011, 18 companies went public.
The month's bright spot was the amount of money raised: $18.52 billion, thanks to the $16 billion-plus from the Facebook deal. The month's total is the highest dollar amount since November 2010, when $21 billion was raised, thanks to a megadeal from General Motors Co., according to Ipreo.
Six of May's debuts were priced below their expected ranges. Although all but one—propylene producer PetroLogistics LP(PDH) —notched first-day gains, the majority were minor. Only two, benefits administrator WageWorks Inc. (WAGE) and Ignite Restaurant Group Inc., closed up more than 15%. Six rose less than 10%, the minimum deemed a suitable first-day "pop."
More than half of the 15 most-recent IPOs were below their offering prices through Friday, compared with only four of the top 15 last month at this time, according to Ipreo, a market-intelligence firm. That includes the two largest deals in May by dollars raised: private-equity firm Carlyle Group LP (CG) and Facebook, which were down 2.2% and 16%, respectively, from their IPO prices. It is hard to say how Facebook's performance will affect the IPO market beyond likely damping enthusiasm for social-media deals in the near term. The week before the Memorial Day weekend and the two weeks that follow tend to be slow for IPOs in the U.S., and the broader stock market has trended down this month, making it harder to interest investors in new public companies.
Two IPOs were postponed last week, citing market conditions, but they were small offerings without much sizzle to their stories.
Looking ahead, one company plans to start its investor meetings, or "roadshow" on Tuesday, according to Brad Hammond, president of NetRoadshow Inc., an Atlanta company that operates websites on which prospective IPOs hold online investor presentations and which is open to retail investors. But even he won't know which company that is until Tuesday; it registers using a code name.

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