Technology was king in the U.S. stock markets during this year’s first quarter. The Nasdaq Composite Index posted an 18.7 percent gain for Q1, the best showing by any of the three major U.S. stock market indexes. In the background, the IPO Class of 2012 was up 32.8 percent and the technology sector scored a 58.8 percent gain. If this wasn’t enough, the world is anxiously waiting for Facebook to announce its offering terms and pricing date.
It’s the IPO market’s own version of “March Madness.” This week’s traffic could be the busiest since December 2010. There are nine deals on the calendar, which puts the month on track to be the second-busiest March since 2000.
Just ahead of the first day of spring, this week’s IPO Express rolls into the Wall Street Station with seven deals on board. One is from this year’s sizzling sector, while another is from a group that has fallen from grace.
Wall Street’s equities syndicate desks burned the midnight oil last week. Bankers got two IPOs priced and brought 15 secondary offerings to market. But that’s not all. They filed plans for four companies to go public, filed 11 amendments for IPOs updating their registration statements, and put three deals on this week’s new-issues calendar.
Facts show technology IPOs have been the driving force in this year’s new issues market. You won’t see any tech deals this week. But that doesn’t change this year’s hottest trend. Next week, there could be another fire-breathing tech dragon on the calendar; more about that later.
Don’t look now. We might – just might have – an IPO market. The signs are there.
A cloud swept over Wall Street last week and rained dollars on the IPO parade. Only one deal got out the door, but it had ties to cloud computing. Its stock soared for an opening-day gain of 30 percent. And guess what? There’s another IPO on this week’s calendar with ties to cloud computing.
Recent IPO pricings have ushered in a new strategy, at least for now. And it’s working.
The 2012 IPO market is emerging as one that’s split between the “haves” and the “have nots.” Last week’s filings and this week’s calendar show examples of each.
January’s IPO traffic was slow with just three deals priced, but February is a different story. The calendar is already brimming with 14 new issues that could raise as much as $2 billion. Waiting in the wings is a possible Facebook IPO filing.