The IPO Buzz: Behind the Headlines

The media pointed to a Russian company, a Saudi company and a Danish company pulling plans to go public, as examples. Maybe so, but these countries have never been known as hotbeds of IPOs.
Unreported in the United States, it was a different story.
To begin with, most American individual investors usually don’t have access to overseas IPOs. If a foreign company did not register its shares with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, then its IPO might not be eligible to be sold to U.S. investors. These stocks are known as unregistered securities.
Here’s what was overlooked: On Feb. 29, the SEC filings showed a total of 25 U.S. companies had withdrawn plans to go public. That’s about 41 percent of the global traffic.  
Fast forward to April 4, which was Friday: The number jumped to 35 withdrawals in the U.S. capital markets.
In the Wings
That’s still not too bad when you consider the number of companies lining up to go public, which had not been reported.
On Feb. 29 a total of 46 companies had filed plans to go public in 2008, according to the SEC filings. And since then, the number of filings has grown to 69 IPOs by April 4. That’s a ratio of two IPOs filed for each IPO withdrawn. That’s not exactly a story of gloom and doom.
And here’s something about those 2008 filings that you probably haven’t read about and won’t be reading about until they get ready to go public. Here are a few that might draw some media attention when you do:
Current Media (GMS: CRTM proposed), a San Francisco-based Internet and cable television company that distributes viewer-created, internally developed and acquired content, filed for an IPO to raise $100 million on Jan. 28. Here’s what the buzz is about: Current Media was co-founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, a director of Hewlett-Packard. That has already attracted media attention.
LogMeIn (GMS: LOGM proposed), a Woburn, Massachusetts-based provider of on-demand, remote-connectivity and support solutions to small businesses, IT service providers and consumers, filed for an IPO to raise $86.3 million on Jan. 11. The company may still be swimming in red ink. But 2007 revenues more than doubled to $27 million, up from $11.3 million in 2006. And you’ve got to love that name.
SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI proposed), an Austin, Texas-based provider of powerful yet easy-to-use enterprise-class network management software, filed for an IPO to raise $250 million on March 21. Its profit-and-loss statement shows runaway figures. SolarWinds reported 2007 revenues of $61.7 million, up from $36.2 million in 2006. Its 2008 net income was $13.6 million, up from $9.6 million in 2007.
And who knows what the IPO trade winds will bring in the future? Stay tuned.