The IPO Buzz: All Eyes on a Wi-Fi IPO

The company is Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT – proposed), a San Jose-based producer of wireless broadband networking products for under-served markets.
The 210 pairs of eyes represent the IPO pipeline of companies that have filed plans to go public in the U.S. capital markets since the first of the year, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Realistically, not all will make it out the door.
The largest IPO in the pipeline is Frac Tech International, a Fort Worth-based provider of oil and natural gas well stimulation services. The company filed on Sept. 9 for an IPO to raise $1.5 billion; it will change its name to FTS International.
The sizes dribble down to China Wesen Recycling Technology, a China-based recycler of plastics salvaged from computers, toys, business equipment, housewares and appliances. The company filed for an IPO to offer 1.2 million shares at $3 to $4 each to raise $4.2 million on Feb. 2, 2011.
Now let’s get back to this week.
Wi-Fi Everywhere
Ubiquiti Networks offers wireless networking products and solutions and recently introduced products in the enterprise wireless local area network, or WLAN, and video surveillance markets. Ubiquiti Networks’ aim is to provide Wi-Fi and WLAN products and solutions in under-served areas and developing countries. The company, founded in 2003, has about 93 employees.
Ubiquiti Networks reported net income (attributable to common stockholders — diluted) of $4.98 million on revenues of $197.9 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011, compared with a net loss (attributable to common stockholders — diluted) of $6.9 million on revenues of $137 million for the same period a year ago.
Ubiquiti Networks plans to offer 7 million shares at $20 to $22 each to raise about $147.8 million.
The IPO is expected to be priced on Thursday evening, Oct. 13, and to trade on Friday morning on the NASDAQ Global Market under the proposed symbol “UBNT.” Joint-lead managers are: UBS Investment Bank, Deutsche Bank Securities and Raymond James.
(Note: The company plans to offer 2.4 million shares and selling shareholders plan to offer 4.6 million shares.)
Looking Back
A post-Labor Day start for the IPO market that reaches into October is not too unusual. Since 2000, two years – 2001 and 2002 – witnessed the IPO calendar coming to life in October and one year – 2008 – it was even later.
On Nov. 19, 2008, Grand Canyon Education (LOPE), a Phoenix, Arizona-based provider of post-secondary education services, priced its IPO of 10.5 million shares at $12 each. The offering’s price had to be slashed several times to get it done. The original price range was $18 to $20 per share, cut to $16 to $18, cut again to $12 to $14, and then priced at $12 per share. The IPO opened at $12, sank to $9.49 and closed its opening day at $11.85 per share. On Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, Grand Canyon closed at $16.04 — UP 33.7 percent from its initial offering price.
As if a post-Labor Day curtain raiser for the IPO calendar in November wasn’t bad enough, it was also the curtain closer for 2008. Not a single company was to go public for the rest of the year.
For perspective, the U.S. stock market was in bad shape and the economy was in the grips of recession in the final months of 2008. When Grand Canyon Education’s IPO was priced on Nov. 19, 2008, it was just two months after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in the midst of Wall Street’s meltdown.
It goes without saying, there are 210 pairs of eyes on this week’s calendar. But there is better news than in 2008.
Zeltiq Aesthetics (ZLTQ – proposed), a Pleasanton, California-based medical technology company is on next week’s IPO calendar. Zeltiq is known for its FDA-approved slimming treatment that freezes fat cells, which are then eliminated by the body.
Stay tuned. 
Disclosure: Neither the author nor anyone else on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned, nor do they trade or invest in IPOs. The author and staff do not issue advice, recommendations or opinions.