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.
When the stock market closed on Friday, it left the popular indexes in what is called a correction, a drop of 10 percent or more from their recent closing highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 12.7 percent, the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 12 percent and the S&P 500 was down 13.6 percent. But don’t be so fast to count out the stock market and the IPO calendar. History is on the side of the good guys.
By now, everybody knows the final shoe on the U.S. debt crisis dropped late Friday afternoon. Standard & Poor’s cut Uncle Sam’s perfect credit rating. That move, which until just recently had been unthinkable, came after Wall Street’s closing bell on Friday. What will happen on Monday morning is anybody’s guess -– the United States has never traveled down this road. Japan has, Canada has, and each has muddled through. Now it’s our turn.
The U.S. debt crisis wrapped its fingers around the stock market and dragged it down to the sharpest single-week loss since the week ending Aug. 13, 2010. During this summer storm, the IPO calendar took its share of hits as well.
If you think 12 IPOs on this week’s calendar is awesome, look in the rear-view mirror. Look past the Internet bubble of 1999/2000 all the way back to 1996. That was the busiest year for IPOs, when a record number of 874 were priced, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. And 109 came in October of that year.
The buzz on Wall Street is its investment bankers will be burning the midnight oil that will run to the Labor Day break. It’s been said there is a backlog of IPOs waiting to get out the door before the coming holiday. If the recent burst of filings at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is any indication, then maybe there is some truth to the latest scuttlebutt.
After the long holiday break for Independence Day, the curtain is finally going up on July’s IPO calendar – mid-month – with just one deal. Instead of promising a fireworks show to remember, this week’s IPO appears to be somewhat tamer – like those sparklers deemed safe for backyard use with parental supervision.
The IPO Express is gearing up for its final run for 2011’s first half. On board are four hopefuls: a carryover from last week, a retread and two smiling new faces. None are expected to be greeted by roaring crowds with brass bands, but such is today’s market.
There’s a big difference between the sizzle and the steak in any IPO calendar. Sometimes they come together and other times – well, let’s take last week’s Pandora Media (P). It was a classic example of each going their separate ways.