In like a lion, out like a lamb is the old saw about March. In the case of the IPO market, the reverse is true: It’s a mild start to the month, with just two deals on this week’s calendar – one a small-cap offering and the other a retread from the past. Nevertheless, for the first time since mid-February, IPOs are back in town. Or to paraphrase Gertrude Stein: A calendar is a calendar is a calendar.
A stillness has settled into the Land of IPOs. No deals were priced last week. And nothing is scheduled for this week. But a mid-February blight in the IPO calendar is becoming normal.
Behind every success story, there’s a pillar of strength. When it comes to IPOs, that strong suit boils down to one word – or acronym: JOBS. The JOBS Act of April 2012 has been good to the IPO market. Since April 25, 2012, the new-issues calendar has priced 100 IPOs. Their aftermarket performance has far outperformed the U.S. stock market’s major indexes.
This week’s calendar lists five IPOs expecting to raise about $255 million and then it becomes “clean and green.” That’s right. There is nothing on the calendar for the rest of the month. But not to worry – a mid- to end-of-February speed bump is becoming “normal” in this day and age.
Don’t believe the talk that the JOBS Act is slowing down the IPO traffic. It hasn’t. The numbers show the opposite. January 2013 was the busiest January in the last seven years. And February’s IPO market is looking to pick up where January left off.
This week’s calendar lists five IPOs expecting to raise over $2.3 billion. Next week lists another five IPOs aiming to raise over $1.1 billion. There is nothing beyond that, but don’t give up on February’s calendar. This is becoming the new way of life as the JOBS Act settles into place.
A private-equity sponsored company and a retread from a 10-year-old new-issues calendar pretty well sums up this week’s IPO action. That’s not much, but it is better than this time a year ago. Only one deal got priced during the shortened Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday week in 2012. Those Monday holidays can sure slow down IPO traffic.
The 2013 IPO Express is pulling into the Wall Street Station this week. The train is on time and in sync with past years – mid-January arrival – and this week’s theme is income. People are thirsty for yield.
Averages can be misleading. That’s what former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich told an investment bankers’ convention in 1994. He gave an example. He said if he (about 5 feet tall) got on an elevator with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (about 7 feet tall), the average height of the occupants would be 6 feet. He made his point.
There were three noteworthy stories in 2012’s IPO market. The first was the year’s most dramatic IPO. The next was a major change in how companies go public. And the third was this year’s stock market – it wrote the script to the IPO calendar.