The IPO Buzz: April’s Run for the Roses

As the IPO calendar gears up for its final April run, seven initial public offerings are set for the last week of the month. Some services, though, see eight IPOs, but there is a reason for the difference.

The reason is Verona Pharma plc. The IPO’s proposed symbol is “VRNA” and the deal is to be traded on The NASDAQ Global Market Thursday morning. Note: The stock has traded under the symbol VRP.L on the AIM, a market of the London Stock Exchange, since Sept. 19, 2006. And that’s the story.

As of Monday, April 24, an investor can buy shares of Verona Pharma on London’s AIM before the American Depositary Shares are priced in New York on Wednesday evening. Wall Street professionals call this a secondary offering.

Verona Pharma is a London-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. It is developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics to treat COPD, cystic fibrosis and other respiratory diseases with significant unmet medical needs.

(For more information, please check their profiles on’s website.)

April’s Eye-Popping Numbers

If all seven deals get out the door by week’s end, it would bring April 2017’s totals to 20 IPOs and that’s a great April, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Here are the numbers: From April 2000 to 2016, a total of 232 IPOs were priced over the last 17 years. That is an average of 13.6 IPOs per April. If Wall Street works its magic, April 2017 would go on the books in a third-place tie with 2006 and 2011.

By the way, first-place April traffic is 2000 with 38 IPOs and last place is 2013 with none.

Four IPOs to Watch

Now let’s move on to this week and its seven IPOs. They are expecting to raise $1.25 billion – and a few are attracting a fair amount of attention. They are Carvana (CVNA – proposed), Cloudera (CLDR – proposed), Floor & Décor Holdings (FND – proposed) and Zymeworks (ZYME – proposed).

Carvana, based in Phoenix, classifies itself as a technology business start-up offering an online-only used car dealer that lets customers shop, finance and trade in cars through its website. The company offers nationwide delivery, but it also gives customers the option of picking up their vehicle purchases at one of the company’s car vending machine locations. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, Carvana reported a loss of $93.1 million on revenue of $392 million and an accumulated deficit of $152.6 million.

(For more information, please check their profiles on’s website.)

Cloudera, based in Palo Alto, California, offers a data platform built on the Apache Hadoop open-source software package. To its clients, Cloudera’s clients have a place to store, to access, to process, to secure and to analyze their data, allowing them to extend the value of existing investments while enabling new ways to derive value from their data. For the year ended Jan. 31, 2017, Cloudera reported a loss of $187.3 million on revenue of $261 million and an accumulated deficit of $676 million.

Note: Insiders indicated an interest to buy 10 percent of the offering.

Note: A pricing at the mid-point of its range would give Cloudera a market capitalization of $1.67 billion.

Floor & Decor Holding, based in Smyrna, Georgia, operates a specialty retailer of hard surface flooring and related accessories through 72 warehouse-format stores in 17 states. The company offers a range of tile, wood and laminate and natural stone flooring products and decorative and installation accessories. For the year ended Dec. 29, 2016, Floor & Décor reported a net profit of $42.9 million on revenue of $1.05 billion.

Zymeworks, based in Vancouver, Canada, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company working to discover, develop and commercialize next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, initially focused on the treatment of cancer. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2016, Zymeworks reported a loss of $33.8 million on revenue of $11 million and an accumulated deficit of $97.8 million.

Note: Insiders indicated an interest to buy $42 million of the offering.

Rounding out the rest of this week’s calendar are:

China Rapid Financial (XRF – proposed), based in Shanghai, is a Chinese consumer lending marketplace.It has offered about 15 million loans to about 2 million borrowers at significantly lower borrowing costs than many of its competitors.

Emerald Expositions Events (EEX – proposed), based in San Juan Capistrano, California is an operator of B2B trade shows in the United States. Its oldest trade shows date back over 110 years. The company operates more than 50 trade shows, including 31 of the top 250 trade shows in the country, as well as numerous other events.

NCS Multistage Holdings (NCSM – proposed), based in Houston, is a provider of highly engineered fracking products and support services that facilitate the optimization of oil and natural gas well completions and field development strategies. The company provides products and services primarily to E&P companies for use in onshore wells, predominantly wells that have been drilled with horizontal laterals in unconventional oil and natural gas formations.

May’s Quiet Opening

This brings us to the week of May 1 and the IPO calendar is clean and green. However, that could change when the SEC’s filing window re-opens for business on Monday morning.

Stay tuned.

Disclosure: Neither the author nor anyone else on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned, nor do we trade or invest in IPOs. The author and staff do not issue advice, recommendations or opinion.