initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dicerna (DRNA) : 2-month performance

Ally Financial IPO seeks to generate up to $2.7B

The US government plans to sell the bulk of its stake in bailed-out auto lender Ally Financial to raise up to $2.66 billion.

Detroit-based Ally Financial Inc., the auto lender rescued by the U.S. government during the 2008 financial crisis, is helping the Treasury Department divest its stake by seeking as much as $2.7 billion in an initial public offering.

Treasury plans to pare its holding to 17 percent by selling 95 million shares for $25 to $28 apiece, according to a regulatory filing last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The government currently owns 37 percent of the former subsidiary of General Motors Co.

The IPO is the culmination of a more than three-year process for Ally, which originally filed to go public in March 2011. The company, which provides car loans, bank accounts and other savings products, shelved the plan in June of that year until equity markets improved. CEO Michael Carpenter later said the bank had to resolve problems with its mortgage unit before restarting the process.

The company's money-losing mortgage business entered bankruptcy in May 2012 and got court approval to end the process in December.

The U.S. stake in Ally, which was reduced in November to 64 percent from 74 percent, was cut to 37 percent in January when the government sold about $3 billion of common stock to private investors.

Third Point LLC, the hedge-fund firm led by billionaire Daniel Loeb, said in January that it had amassed a 9.5 percent stake, making it one of Ally's largest shareholders. Affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management LP own 8.6 percent, according to the new filing.

Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc are leading the IPO. Ally plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ALLY.

MediWound (MDWD) began trading on the NASDAQ on 20 March 2014


MediWound Ltd. is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. The Company is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing products to address unmet needs in the fields of severe burns, chronic and other hard-to-heal wounds and connective tissue disorders. The Company’s biopharmaceutical product, NexoBrid, which is based on its patented proteolytic enzyme technology, represents a new paradigm in burn care management, and its clinical trials have demonstrated, with statistical significance, its ability to non-surgically and rapidly remove the eschar earlier upon patient admission, without harming viable tissues. The Company launched NexoBrid in December 2013 in the European Union through its wholly-owned German subsidiary, targeting a focused audience of burn specialists treating patients in burn centers and hospital burn units.


42 Hayarkon Street, Industrial Zone
YAVNE, ZF 8122745

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Caesars (CZR) : 2-year performance

Caesars has been shuffling its balance sheet for the better part of a decade after a $31 billion buyout in 2006. The public shares have performed well but Caesars continues to scramble for cash to pay off debt holders.

** weekly chart **

Caesars Entertainment Corp. fell 7.4 percent to its lowest price since December after the casino operator said it will offer 7 million common shares, worth about $147.6 million at yesterday’s prices.

The shares declined to $19.52 at the close in New York, the lowest since Dec. 10. The stock has tumbled 25 percent this month.

** daily chart **

The offering underscores the challenges facing Caesars, which has been restructuring more than $23 billion in debt and doesn’t generate enough cash to cover its expenses. The Las Vegas-based company, controlled by Apollo Global Management LLC (APO) and TPG Capital, this week said it will close a casino in Tunica, Mississippi, because of declining revenue. On the Las Vegas Strip, where the company has been investing in its properties, gambling revenue fell 20 percent last month.

Caesars, the largest owner of casinos in the U.S., granted its banker the option to sell another 1.05 million shares, according to a statement yesterday. Apollo and TPG have agreed not to sell any of their holdings for about 60 days after the offering. Citigroup Inc. (C) is the sole underwriter.

The company has struggled to repair its balance sheet after a $30.7 billion leveraged buyout in 2008. Caesars has sold stock to the public, divested assets, bought back debt and restructured loans.

The sale of 7 million shares would increase the number outstanding by 5.1 percent to 144.2 million, according to company filings. While the share offering dilutes equity investors, some bonds rose.

J.Crew in talks for possible 2014 IPO

J. Crew — the retailer owned by TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners — is talking with banks as it shops around for an initial public offering later this year, sources said.

The NY-based retailer has 451 stores and nearly $2.5 billion in annual sales, J. Crew may fetch a valuation of as much as $5 billion, one of the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.

That’s almost twice the $2.64 billion value of J. Crew’s buyout by TPG and Leonard Green three years ago.

Varonis Systems (VRNS) : 1-month performance

Friday, March 28, 2014

TriNet (TNET) began trading on the NYSE on 27 March 2014

TriNet's 15.0M share IPO priced at $16.00 per share in the middle of the expected $15.00 to $17.00 range. With a volatile birth, TriNet opened at $18.50, quickly put in a low of $17.28, and then ended the day with a 19.4 percent gain at $19.21. The bookrunners were Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley.

As a trusted HR partner for small businesses, TriNet provides critical HR solutions on an outsourced basis. The company's services include payroll processing, human capital consulting, employment law, compliance and employee benefits including health, insurance and retirement plans. Founded in 1988, the company is headed by Martin Babinec in San Leandro, California.


TriNet Group Inc. is a provider of a comprehensive human resources solution for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The Company’s human resource (HR) solution includes services such as payroll processing, human capital consulting, employment law compliance and employee benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans and workers compensation insurance. Its services are delivered by HR professionals and enabled by cloud-based technology platform, which allows its clients and their employees to efficiently conduct their HR transactions anytime and anywhere. As of December 31, 2013, the Company served 900 clients in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. The Company offers clients a bundled solution that enables them to outsource their HR function to a single provider. In July 2013, the Company acquired Ambrose Employer Group, LLC.


Suite 400, 1100 San Leandro Blvd
United States 

Key stats and ratios

Q4 (Dec '13)2013
Net profit margin1.25%0.80%
Operating margin4.89%4.03%
EBITD margin-8.53%
Return on average assets1.82%1.13%
Return on average equity--

Aerohive Networks (HIVE) began trading on the NYSE on 28 March 2014

Aerohive Networks (NYSE: HIVE) is a provider of a cloud-based mobile networking platform that is designed to support a mobile network edge.

The company initially planned to offer 7.5 million shares at a price range of $9 to $11. Shares opened at $8.95 before surging to $9.88. Shares then reversed course and traded as low as $8.81, before battling back and trading slightly above its debut price.


Aerohive Networks, Inc. has designed and developed a cloud-managed mobile networking platform that enables enterprises to deploy a mobile-centric network edge. The Company’s cloud-managed mobile networking platform consists of four components: Cloud Services Platform, HiveOS operating system, client management software and its portfolio of hardware products. Its Cloud Services Platform delivers cloud-based network management and mobility applications giving end-customers a single and contextual view of the mobile-centric network edge. Its cloud-based management software can be purchased as a public cloud software-as-a-service or as an on-premise private cloud instance. The Company’s HiveOS operating system is a mobility-optimized network operating system that implements a suite of distributed control protocols and policy enforcement engines that together eliminate the need for controllers. Its client management software includes cloud-managed agents, profiles and certificates.


330 Gibraltar Drive
United States 

Everyday Health (EVDY) began trading on the NYSE on 28 March 2014

Everyday Health (NYSE: EVDY) is a provider of digital health and welfare solutions. Everyday Health takes a unique approach and uses data and analytics to provide its users with personalized content.

The company initially planned to offer 7.2 million shares at a price range of $13 to $15 per share. Shares initially opened at $14.50 and briefly touched $14.75, before reversing course and declining as low as $13.23.

2U (TWOU) began trading on the NASDAQ on 28 March 2014

2U (NASDAQ: TWOU) is a provider of an SaaS cloud-based platform allowing non-profit colleges and universities to offer online programs.

The company initially planned to offer 9.2 million shares at a price range of $11 to $13 per share. Shares opened at $13.00 before rising to $14.34, cooling down a bit and finding some support around $14.00.


2U, Inc. is a provider of cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. Its solutions consist of cloud-based SaaS platform and bundled technology-enabled services. The Company’s solutions enable nonprofit colleges and universities to deliver their education to students anywhere. Its online learning platform and bundled technology-enabled services provide the operating infrastructure colleges and universities need to attract, enroll, educate, support and graduate their students. The Company’s clients use its platform to offer full graduate degree programs online. As of March 17, 2014, eight nonprofit colleges and universities offered graduate degrees through its platform, including the University of Southern California, Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California, Berkeley. As of December 31, 2013, a total of 8,540 individuals had enrolled as students in its clients' programs.


United States


CBS Outdoor Americas (CBSO) began trading on the NYSE on 28 March 2014

CBS Outdoor Americas (NYSE: CBSO) leases advertising space on out-of-home structures such as billboards and transit systems

The company initially planned to offer 20 million shares in a price range of $26 to $28 per share. Shares initially opened at $30.10 before hitting highs of $30.47.

CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves, center, and CBS Outdoor Americas Inc. CEO Jeremy Male, center right, ring the opening bell to celebrate their company's IPO on March 28.

Energous (WATT) began trading on the NASDAQ on 28 March 2014

Energous (NASDAQ: WATT) is a developer of a disruptive wire-free charging technology.

The company initially planned to offer four million shares at a price of $6 per share. Shares initially opened at $9.50 before trading to $10.79 and then retreating to $7.82. Shares have rebounded since, trading around $8.70 -- below its debut price, but still up nearly 45 percent.

It is important to note that shares of Energrous have been trading with a wide bid-to-ask spread. Benzinga phoned NASDAQ who confirmed that trading was operating normally.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Square 1 Bank (SQBK) began trading on the NASDAQ on 27 March 2014

  • In October 2015, Square 1 Bank merged with Pacific Western Bank -- PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW).


Square 1 Financial, Inc. is a financial services company. The Company is a bank holding company for Square 1 Bank. Through Square 1 Bank, the Company focuses its banking activities almost on venture capital firms and private equity firms and the portfolio companies funded by such firms. Square 1 Bank provides a range of financial services nationwide to these investors and their portfolio companies, including, among others, term commercial loans, revolving lines of credit, asset-based loans, deposit products and fee-based banking services, including credit cards, foreign exchange, cash management and letters of credit. The Company’s primary focus is on venture-backed technology and life sciences companies, nationwide. As of December 31, 2013, the Company had total assets of $2.3 billion, total loans outstanding of $1.1 billion and total deposits of $2.1 billion. In addition to Square 1 Bank, the only other subsidiary of Square 1 Financial is Square 1 Ventures, LLC.


DURHAM, NC 27701-3984
United States

Applied Genetic Technologies (AGTC) began trading on the NASDAQ on 27 March 2014


Applied Genetic Technologies Corp is a United States-based clinical stage biotechnology company. The Company develops gene therapy products for the treatment of inherited and acquired diseases. Its products are used to treat Alpha One Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1), a respiratory disease caused by deficiencies in the tissue protective protein alpha one antitrypsin; and Lebers congenital amaurosis, an inherited condition causing early blindness. Its products also used to treat X-linked retinoschisis, an inherited form of retinal degeneration affecting young males with poor vision either in infancy or at school age; and achromatopsia, an inherited condition that is associated with color blindness, visual acuity loss, and extreme light sensitivity resulting in daytime blindness.


Suite D, 11801 Research Drive
United States

Key stats and ratios

Q4 (Dec '13)2013
Net profit margin-142.72%-529.72%
Operating margin-564.08%-381.53%
EBITD margin--351.27%
Return on average assets-10.64%-35.25%
Return on average equity--

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Candy Crush maker King Digital Entertainment prices IPO at $22.50 a share

King Digital Entertainment, maker of the massively popular Candy Crush mobile app, priced its IPO late Tuesday in the latest example of young tech companies getting back into the IPO game.

The initial public offering — one of the biggest tests yet of investors' appetite for potentially dicey tech deals — raised $500 million for the 10-year-old company. The company sold shares to initial investors at $22.50 a share. That was somewhat disappointing, because the company had set an initial range of $21 to $24 a share, and other recent tech IPOs have priced above their initial ranges.

King will begin trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol KING.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) : 18-month performance

** weekly **

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. offers a network security platform in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Asia Pacific, and Japan. The company's platform comprises Next-Generation Firewall that delivers application, user, and content visibility and control. It delivers its platform in the form of a hardware or virtual appliance, and includes a suite of subscription services, as well as support and maintenance services. The company's products include firewall appliances; Panorama, a centralized security management solution for the global control of appliances deployed on an end-customer's network as a virtual appliance or a physical appliance; and Virtual System Upgrades, which are available as extensions to the virtual system capacity that ships with the appliance. Its subscription services include threat detection and prevention, URL filtering, laptop and mobile devices protection, and malware and threats protection. The company also offers professional services, which include on-location planning, designing, and deployment of security solutions; application traffic management, solution design and planning, configuration, and firewall migration; and education services. Its platform enables enterprises, service providers, and government entities to identify, control, and safely enable applications running on their networks, as well as protect against cyber threats in real time. The company serves the enterprise network security market, which consists of firewall, unified threat management, Web gateway, intrusion detection and prevention, and virtual private network technologies. The company primarily sells its products and services through its channel partners, as well as directly to end-customers operating in various industries, including education, energy, financial services, healthcare, Internet and media, manufacturing, public sector, and telecommunications. Palo Alto Networks, Inc. was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.

Matador Resources (MTDR) : 2-year performance

Matador Resources Company engages in the exploration, development, production, and acquisition of oil and natural gas resources in the United States. The company primarily holds interests in the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas; the Haynesville shale play, including the Middle Bossier shale play, as well as the Cotton Valley and Hosston formations in Northwest Louisiana and East Texas; the Wolfcamp and Bone Spring plays in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas; and the Meade Peak shale play in Southwest Wyoming and the adjacent areas of Utah and Idaho. As of December 31, 2012, its estimated total proved reserves were 23.8 million barrels of oil equivalent, including 10.5 million Bbl of oil and 80.0 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The company was formerly known as Matador Holdco, Inc. and changed its name to Matador Resources Company in August 2011. Matador Resources Company was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

Antero Resources (AR) : 5-month performance

Data storage firm Box files for IPO

(Reuters) - Data storage company Box Inc filed with U.S. regulators on Monday to raise up to $250 million in an initial public offering of common stock.

The Los Altos, California-based company said Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and BMO Capital Markets were among the underwriters for the IPO.

Box intends to list its Class A common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "BOX."

Box CEO Aaron Levie

The company began as an academic project of CEO Aaron Levie, who launched it from his dorm room at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business in 2005. Box focuses on business customers, and says over 200,000 firms use its technology, including LinkedIn (LNKD), Pandora (P) and Procter & Gamble (PG).

Key numbers:
  • $124 million : That's the amount of revenue Box reports for the year ending January 31, 2014. It compares to around $59 million for fiscal 2012 and just $21 million for fiscal 2011.
  • $169 million : That's how much Box lost last year. The only real upside is that its losses are growing at a lower rate than are its revenues increasing. For example, Box had a net loss of $112.5 million for fiscal 2012 and around $50 million for fiscal 2011. As for cost increases, Box more than doubled both R&D and sales & marketing expenses last year.
  • 174,000 : That's Box's number of billings last year, compared to 85,700 the prior year.
  • $109 million : That's how much cash Box has on hand. Guess that means it hasn't yet tapped any of the $100 million in Series F funding that it raised at the end of last year.
  • 25.5% : That's the percentage of Box currently owned by venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which led the company's $1.5 million Series A round back in 2006. Other significant shareholders include U.S. Venture Partners (13%), General Atlantic (8.4%), Scale Venture Partners (7.4%), Bessemer Venture Partners (5.6%) and Meritech Capital Partners (5.1%).

Diamondback Energy (FANG) began trading on the NASDAQ in October 2012

Diamondback Energy (FANG), which drills for oil and gas in the Permian Basin in West Texas, slipped a fraction in weak volume. It's been trading in tight fashion in recent weeks and is extended 9% above a 58.80 buy point. The stock ran quickly up its 10-week moving average after going public in Oct. 2012. It corrected late last year to shape its latest pattern, which is fourth stage and therefore highly risky.

** weekly **

Diamondback Energy, Inc., an independent oil and natural gas company, focuses on the acquisition, development, exploration, and exploitation of onshore oil and natural gas reserves in the Permian Basin in West Texas. The company's activities are primarily focused on the Clearfork, Spraberry, Wolfcamp, Cline, Strawn, and Atoka formations. As of December 31, 2013, its net leasehold acreage in the Permian Basin was approximately 65,938 net acres; and estimated proved oil and natural gas reserves were 63,586 thousand barrels of crude oil equivalent. The company also held interests in 306 net producing wells in the Permian Basin. Diamondback Energy, Inc. was founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Midland, Texas.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Borderfree (BRDR) began trading on the NASDAQ on 21 March 2014

  • Update (May 6, 2015) : Borderfree (BRDR) was acquired by Pitney Bowes (PBI) for for $14.00 per share or $395 million in 2015.

Borderfree Inc. (Nasdaq: BRDR) raised a gross $80 million in an issue of five million shares at $16 per share - the upper end of its offer - at a company value of $488 million, after money. The share price rose 25% in its first day of trading on Friday to $20, giving a market cap of $610 million.

Borderfree was founded in 1999 by Yuval Tal in Israel under the name FiftyOne, as a forex conversion site for retailers. It subsequently expanded its business to become the leader in its field, offering worldwide e-commerce for American retailers. The company is now incorporated in the US and headquartered in New York City, and keeps one of its two R&D centers in Israel. The company has 49 R&D employees, but does not disclose how many are in Israel. Altogether, it has 189 employees.

The IPO's biggest beneficiaries are Borderfree's investors, beginning with Pitango Venture Capital. The IPO reduced its stake in the company from 32.8% to 27.4%, worth $167 million. In second place is Adam Street Partners, which saw its stake narrow to 18.1%, worth $110.5 million.

China's IPO-bound posted narrower $8 million loss in 2013

SHANGHAI, China - China's No.2 internet retailer, Inc, set for a $1.5 billion U.S. initial public offering (IPO), posted a narrower 50 million yuan ($8.07 million) loss in 2013, according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission., which recently teamed up with giant Chinese tech firm Tencent Holdings Ltd, is the closest rival to Alibaba Group Holdings, the leader by far in China's e-commerce market, which this month also started plans for a much larger U.S. IPO., which has close to 50 million active customers, saw revenues increase 67.4 percent to 69.3 billion yuan in 2013 from 41.4 billion yuan the year before. The company had posted a 1.7 billion yuan loss in 2012.

The firm hopes to leverage its tie-up with Tencent's popular messaging app WeChat to increase its share of China's e-commerce market, with the intention of becoming the "largest e-commerce company in China", it said.

The tie-up also burnishes the appeal of's planned U.S. listing while taking some shine off Alibaba's own IPO, which is expected to be worth $15 billion.

China's internet retail market is set to triple from 2012 to over $300 billion in 2018 as the country's smartphone-savvy shoppers surf the web for everything from plane tickets to sneakers, according to Euromonitor.

Globoforce postpones IPO

Globoforce Group PLC pulled its planned initial public offering late Thursday, bucking a mostly warm reception for IPOs this week.

The Dublin-based business software firm withdrew its IPO paperwork in a regulatory filing dated March 20. Chief Executive Eric Mosley said in a statement late Thursday the company would defer its debut "until market conditions are more favorable."

The withdrawal came after the company slashed its estimate for the proceeds it expected to raise early Thursday, a sign of tepid investor demand during its effort to price the deal. A spokeswoman declined to give additional details on the decision to pull the deal.

Globoforce provides cloud-based software that employers use to recognize workers for achievement, such as awards that can be cashed in at a network of e-commerce sites. The company receives a fee whenever those rewards are redeemed and reported revenues of $187 million last year, and a net loss of $6.5 million.

Through online platforms like Globoforce, firms encourage workers to give each other constant feedback.

Earlier in the week Globoforce said it was looking to raise up to $79 million through the sale of 4.4 million shares at up to $18 each.

Then, the company scaled that back, saying Thursday it would try to sell only 3.8 million shares, at a lower price range, of up to $15 a piece.

Late Thursday evening Globoforce announced it had opted to postpone the IPO “until market conditions are more favorable.” Company executives declined to be interviewed Friday.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New IPOs - when to buy?

Brand-new IPOs may offer future potential, but they can be tricky to navigate in the short run.

Those that go public with much fanfare often see a big, first-day pop, like LinkedIn (LNKD) (109%) and Twitter (TWTR) (73%), before coming back down to earth. That can make finding an entry tough, since a hot stock could keep shooting higher or drop right after the debut, a la Facebook (FB).

That's why it may be prudent to wait for a consolidation. Some IPOs pause shortly after their debut. A so-called IPO base can be shorter in length than the five- or six-week minimum, respectively, for a flat or cup base.

Michael Kors (KORS) trended mostly higher the first five sessions after jumping 21% its first day, Dec. 15, 2011. It then paused the next three weeks, giving prospective buyers a chance to get in. The first true base didn't start until March. (COUP) surged 88% to 30 from its offer price on March 7. It hasn't done much since, trading mostly between 26 and 31. The Mountain View, Calif.-based digital coupon provider hasn't yet turned an annual profit, though it posted its first quarterly profit in Q4.

Its debut comes nearly eight months after that of rival RetailMeNot (SALE), which rose 32% from its IPO price and is now up more than 30% from that day's close. It had rallied as much as 76%. The company has made money since 2010.

YY (YY), which went public on Nov. 21, 2012, shows the potential of recent new issues. It saw a modest 8% rise in its Nasdaq debut. Shares climbed 35% in the first two weeks before launching into their first consolidation, which spanned seven weeks and offered a first chance for investors.

Another 36% advance ensued before the Chinese Internet stock settled into a six-week cup base, a second opportunity to buy. It cleared its most recent six-week consolidation on Jan. 3 and is up 42% from the buy point.

YY has grown its annual earnings per share the past two years. Earlier this month, it crushed fourth-quarter profit and sales forecasts with triple-digit gains. Analysts expect triple-digit EPS growth to continue in Q1.
The top- and bottom-line performance have helped it attract increasing institutional sponsorship. Forty-three mutual funds and hedge funds took new positions as of Dec. 31, while 23 added to their stakes. Three of the funds owning shares are rated A+.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paylocity (PCTY) began trading on the NASDAQ on 19 March 2014

Paylocity (PCTY) late Tuesday announced it sold 7.045 million shares at $17 each, above the expected $14-$16 range. The company raised $119.8 million in the its IPO. The cloud-based payroll software maker had a market cap of roughly $877 million before it began trading Wednesday.

Paylocity is a cloud-based provider of payroll and human capital services software designed to help companies better manage their workforce.

The initial public offering seeks to raise $100 million by selling 6.7 million shares at 14 to 16 a share. At the midpoint, the company would have a market value of $765 million.

Its competitors include Workday (WDAY), Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD), Paychex (PAYX) and Automatic Data Processing (ADP). Of these, Workday is the most recent IPO. Workday went public in October 2012. Priced at 28, shares rose 74% on the first day. Workday stock now trades near 102.
Research firm IPOboutique said its channel checks suggest demand for Paylocity shares is strong, with the new issue being "multiple times oversubscribed."

Paylocity is a cloud-based provider of payroll and human capital service software designed to help companies manage their workforce.

The lead underwriters are Deutsche Bank Securities and BofA Merrill Lynch. The stock will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker PCTY.

Paylocity reported revenue of $46.3 million in 2013, up 40%, with a net loss in 2013 of $1.55 million.
As of June 30, Paylocity said it had 6,850 customers. It targets organizations with companies that have from 20 to about 1,000 employees.

Two more IPOs are scheduled to begin trading Thursday and also show signs of strong demand, said IPOboutique. One is Q2 Holdings, a provider of online banking services using a software-as-a-service platform. The other is Akebia Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapies for patients with kidney disease.

The IPO market is moving at a blistering pace with the average price of new issues this year up nearly 40% from their offering price. And the 45 initial public offerings completed so far is double the year-earlier period, according to Renaissance Capital. The IPOs have raised $7.6 billion, up 28%, as IBD reported.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Biotech IPOs this week: Akebia Therapeutics (AKBA), Versartis (VSAR), MediWound (MDWD)

Three biotechnology IPOs are coming up this week that might be worth watching, given how well that most of those launched in the last few months have done….

First on the list is Akebia Therapeutics, whose symbol will be AKBA. IPO Renaissance Capital says the strike price should be somewhere between $14 to $17 a share, with 4.9 million shares expected to hit the market.

Akebia specializes in treating anemia through a rather unusual method — adopting the mountain life. That’s an oversimplification, but the company has discovered that simulating high-altitude conditions can increase red blood cell production and stabilize iron supply in bone marrow. That, in turn, helps to fight anemia.

The second making its debut is Versartis Inc., going by the symbol VSAR. A total 4.6 million shares are to be filed at $16 to $19 apiece. It is developing an orphan drug consisting of a hormone designed to treat pediatric growth deficiency.

IPO Boutique sent out a note Tuesday increasing its rating on the shares on word that the upcoming listing is getting “a great deal of attention from the Street.”  On Monday, IPO Boutique said the offering is “multiple times oversubscribed.”

Finally, the third is Israeli-based MediWound Ltd., whose symbol will be MDWD. A total 5 million shares are up for grabs at $14 to $16 apiece.

This company makes an agent known as NexoBrid, used to remove dead skin left from severe burns. It has already been approved for use by the European Medicines Agency. That was enough for CNBC’s Jim Cramer to declare the stock a standout from the other two on his “Mad Money” program this week.