Groupon’s IPO filing roared out of the SEC filing window like thunder last Friday and negated a recent media blitz of misinformation.
When Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT) made its debut on Friday, Oct. 14th, the curtain finally went up on the post-Labor Day IPO season. The IPO was the first one priced since mid-August. The deal was a mixed blessing. The offering failed to raise the amount the company that the company had hoped for, but investors got an unexpected windfall profit.
For the first time since mid-August, the IPO calendar has a company scheduled to go public. And there’ll be 210 pairs of eyes watching the outcome.
Some things are best left in the rear-view mirror. That’s the best thing that can be said about the third quarter of 2011. By the end of September, most of the world’s stock indexes were close to the sharp claws of a bear market, which is a 20 percent drop from a previous high. When things like this happen, IPOs generally go into hibernation — except for last week.
What happened on Wall Street last week was a throwback to yesteryear’s Coney Island Amusement Park. This was anything but amusing. The steep fall by the three major U.S. stock indexes was like the Cyclone rollercoaster’s first plunge. It was heart stopping.
Will Rogers was fond of saying, “All I know is what I read in the papers.” He didn’t have the Internet to check fiction versus fact. This past week, we were subjected to an IPO media blitz about Groupon and Facebook. In the jaded eye of the Wall Street professional, it was fiction.
Any qualified investor with a dream and the right bid can get in on this week’s only IPO at its initial offering price. It’s a Dutch auction. But history tells us: Don’t look for an opening-day moonshot.
On the first day of September, victory laps around the Wall Street arena were few and far between. There was not much to celebrate over the year’s first eight months. With the popular stock market averages in a correction (down 10 per cent or more from their previous highs) and only 37 percent of the year’s IPOs closing above their initial offering prices, no champagne corks were popped in lower Manhattan.
Reports of the death of IPOs are greatly exaggerated. This is the time of year the IPO market goes into its seasonal hibernation period, but the real clue to “life after death” was found at last week’s U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing window. It was a busy place.
This year’s IPO Labor Day break could not have come any sooner for the calendar. A quick look at the popular stock market indexes makes for unpleasant reading. But no matter what happens in the near future, IPOs will not be in play.