This week’s equities calendar is large — 25 deals. Sixteen are secondary offerings and nine are IPOs. But in this crowd, some appearances are deceiving.
Wall Street’s investment bankers plan on saddling up 16 deals for this week’s IPO Sweepstake. If all cross the finish line, it would be the largest week since mid-December 2004. Among this “sweet 16” bevy of ponies are a frontrunner and a dark horse, according to the IPO handicappers.
A billion-dollar Dutch auction grabbed the spotlight last week, but it wasn’t the only show in town. A couple of noteworthy Chinese IPOs made their way into the U.S marketplace. All three IPOs had a story to tell.
Interactive Brokers Group (Nasdaq: IBKR proposed) plans to price its IPO on Thursday evening for Friday’s trading. It will be only one of nearly 13,000 companies to go public since January 1970. But its offering will be a rare creature among the thundering herd of IPOs over the decades. It’s being offered through a bidding system known as a Dutch auction.
The $1.15 billion IPO of MetroPCS Communications(NYSE: PCS) overshadowed last week’s IPO traffic. In the background, the market was humming. Much more was going on than what met the eye.
Bankers gave IPO investors a dose of what appeared to be a “back-to-the-future” IPO when they priced a money-losing company last week. Comverge (NASDAQ: COMV) popped for a surprising opening-day gain of 23.9 percent.
When Veraz Networks (NASDAQ: VRAZ) priced its IPO below its original filing range last week, it underscored the saying: “Cut a deal, cancel my order.”
Enough companies jumped on last week’s IPO bandwagon to push 2007’s first quarter past the year-ago numbers. In the process, it made this year’s first quarter the best Q1 since the wild and woolly days of 2000 during the “insanity dot-com” era.
The message from the corner of Broad and Wall Streets last week was clear: “IPOs are back in town.”
Last week’s IPO traffic underscored what everybody already knew – earnings are “in” and China is “out.”