The IPO Buzz: Best Year for IPOs Since 2000

2014 went into the books as a good IPO year, not a record- breaking year as some have reported. Having said that, let’s go to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.
The SEC’s filings showed 285 IPOs were priced during the year. They raised $85.5 billion. These figures include unit offerings consisting of common stock and warrants.
(Note: Other services have reported or will report other numbers, but excludes bank conversions; “best efforts” offerings; closed-end funds, and foreign companies pricing public offerings of American Depositary Shares (ADS) being offered for the first time in the U.S. capital markets. The ADS represent shares already being traded in their country of origin.)
Granted, 2014’s numbers were impressive. Worth repeating: In 2014, 285 initial public offerings were priced. Those stats make 2014 the busiest IPO year since 2000, when 433 IPOs were priced. They raised $99.8 billion, but … and there’s always a “but.”
2014’s IPO traffic of 285 was actually below average. Since 1980, a total of 12,300 IPOs have been priced. That means an “average” year amounts to 351 IPOs.
Here are the top three years:
  • 1996: 874 IPOs
  • 1993: 820 IPOs
  • 1986: 728 IPOs
A Place in History
The dollar volume was noteworthy.
In 2014, IPOs raised $85.5 billion, with the record-breaking Alababa Group Holding (BABA) IPO chipping in with $21.8 billion. That helped boost 2014’s dollar volume to the third-best fund-raising year of all time.
Here are the top three years:
  • 1999: $100.6 billion
  • 2000: $99.8 billion
  • 2014: $85.5 billion
On second thought, 2014 produced the most IPOs in 14 years and raised the third-largest amount of money ever. That isn’t bad. It’s great.
The 2015 IPO watch starts on Monday, Jan. 5, and all eyes are on the SEC’s filing window. That will give us some clues about what to expect in the coming weeks and months.
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 opinions.