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.
“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” said baseball Hall of Fame member Yogi Berra. And those words of wisdom apply to today’s IPO calendar. Three of last week’s proposed offerings were pushed into this week. By Friday, the 2012 IPO market just might be over.
This week, the 2012 IPO Express prepares to make its last run of the year. Today’s timetable is only following schedules from past years when the IPO traffic comes to its end by mid-December.
December’s IPO calendar opens with WhiteHorse Finance (WHF – proposed) – and it’s the only deal expected this week. But most don’t consider this a true initial public offering. This deal was filed under the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) N-2 form, which is submitted by closed-end management investment companies under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Don’t look now, but this week’s IPO calendar is clean and green. There’s nothing on it – much like the shelves of Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. But there are reasons for the vanishing faces of IPOs. One is the stock market. The other is a change in the rules.
A two-month retreat in the Nasdaq Composite Index has rained on Wall Street’s IPO parade. Last week started with four deals on the calendar. In the end, two were withdrawn, one was postponed and the one that made it to market crashed on take-off. This week’s calendar features just two IPOs in a three-day workweek due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday break.
When the 2012 U.S. presidential election moved into the history books last week, Wall Street turned its attention to the present – the fiscal cliff, Greece, Spain and, to a lesser degree, “What looks good in the IPO pipeline?”