This week an IPO will step from the calendar into legend to stand beside Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL). The name is Alibaba Group Holding (BABA – proposed). Each took a different road to fame.
The other shoe finally dropped on Alibaba at 3:53 p.m. EDT on Friday, Sept. 5. That is when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission posted the long-awaited and highly anticipated Alibaba Group Holding (BABA – proposed) amendment giving the IPO’s expected pricing terms. A few phone calls to the IPO’s lead managers turned up the pricing date: Thursday, Sept. 18.
Although the IPO calendar has been closed for the traditional Labor Day break, Wall Street was busy restocking the new-issues shelves. Last week 16 companies filed to go public. They were looking to raise about $2.6 billion. Those “sweet 16” deals made last week one of the busiest filing weeks in over eight years. During the week of May 16, 2006, a total of 20 IPOs were filed.
Just because the IPO market is slipping into its traditional slumber from mid-August to mid-September doesn’t mean the rumor mill was quiet. More Alibaba Group Holding stories made the rounds last week. Pull up a chair. Here they are.
The IPO Express is gearing up this week for what could be its final run of the summer. But the winds of August have not been at its back.
Stocks are bought on hope, held in greed and sold in fear. The driving force behind these emotions is interest rates, earnings and, at times, politics. Politics from the Middle East, Ukraine and Argentina rained on Wall Street’s parade last week. The summer downpour drove the major U.S. stock market indexes down well over 2 percent each.
It looks like the 2014 IPO market is holding an “end-of-summer” sale this week. The calendar has 22 new issues expecting to raise $6.7 billion. We have to reach back to 2000 for a busier IPO weekly calendar. This was the week of Sept. 25, 2000. That calendar had 23 new issues expecting to raise $2.95 billion; of this group, 18 got out the door.
The IPO market has steamrolled through July’s first three weeks and is on track to produce the busiest July since 2000. Bankers have already priced 13 deals that raised $1.2 billion from the calendar for July so far.
The IPO Orchestra is getting ready to strike up the music for 2014’s second half. It is playing the same tune as it did when 2014 began: “The Waltz of The Pharmaceuticals.” Six of the 15 IPOs on the forward calendar are pharmaceutical companies.
“Alibaba, Alibaba, where are you?” The world wants to know. The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind. And that wind will be blowing through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) filing window all in good time. Until then, we wait.