The IPO Buzz: Healthcare and Water IPOs on Tap

The three companies set to go public this week have one thing in common. Their businesses are in sectors essential to survival – better healthcare and a clean water supply. One company is using gene-editing technology to develop treatments for sickle cell disease and other blood disorders. Another offers a wearable sensor for people with heart arrhythmias. The third company makes concrete pipes for the water grid to deliver clean water and remove wastewater from residential and commercial settings.

Word on the Street is that all three of these IPOs are in play.

Looking ahead, there’s a billion-dollar IPO from China on next week’s calendar, but more on that later.

This accent on life tracks the recovery of the NASDAQ Composite Index, the barometer of the IPO market. The NASDAQ is up 4.4 percent for the year, as of the close on Friday, Oct. 14. That follows the NASDAQ’s 9.7 percent gain for 2016’s third quarter.

Serious Money

With the deals on the IPO Calendar for this week and next, October’s traffic would rise to 14 IPOs priced this month – assuming all of these get done. Bankers are looking to raise about $1.8 billion over the next two weeks.

In October, 10 deals have been priced so far with four up and six down from their IPO prices, as of Friday’s close.

In September, 15 deals were priced with 13 up and two down from their initial public offering prices as of Friday’s close. September’s IPOs included the moonshot by Nutanix (NTNX).

For October alone, the NASDAQ is down about 1.8 percent – with less than a month to go before the election. The final presidential debate is Wednesday night, Oct. 19th.

Rx: DNA Editing

CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP – proposed) of Basel, Switzerland, is a leading gene editing company focused on developing CRISPR/Cas9-based treatments for sickle cell disease and other inherited blood disorders. The prospectus describes CRISPR/Cas9 as “a revolutionary technology for gene editing, the process of precisely altering specific sequences of genomic DNA.”

Gene-editing therapy could reduce or end the need for frequent blood transfusions for people with sickle cell anemia and other diseases caused by hemoglobin abnormalities.

Bankers plan to offer 4.7 million shares of CRISPR at $15 to $17 each on Tuesday evening, Oct. 18, to trade on Wednesday, Oct. 19 on NASDAQ.

On the Water Grid

Forterra (FRTA – proposed), based in Irving, Texas, is a leading manufacturer of pipe and precast products, defined by sales volume in the United States and Eastern Canada, for water-related infrastructure. This includes water transmission, distribution and drainage.

Cities, residential developers and commercial contractors are among Forterra’s clients.

Bankers plan to offer about 18.4 million shares of Forterra at $19 to $21 each on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to trade Thursday, Oct. 20, on the NASDAQ.

Heartbeats and the Cloud

iRhythm Technologies (IRTC – proposed), based in San Francisco, is in the digital healthcare business with its wearable ZIO  Patch to monitor the heartbeats of people at risk for atrial fibrillation (AFib) and other arrhythmias. The company pairs the ZIO Patch, which can be worn for up to 14 days to provide an ambulatory electrocardiogram or ECG, with cloud-based data analytics to help doctors diagnose and treat patients with abnormal heartbeats.

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often extremely rapid heartbeat that raises the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications, the Mayo Clinic says.

Bankers plan to offer about 5.35 million shares of iRhythm at $13 to $15 each on Wednesday, Oct. 19, to trade Thursday, Oct. 20, on the NASDAQ.

Big Deal from Shanghai

Looking into the week of Oct. 24, 2016, the calendar has one IPO so far. It is a billion-dollar baby from Shanghai, China. The deal is called ZTO Express. It’s an express package-delivery service whose customers include Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant. Bankers are planning to offer about 1.26 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) at $16.50 to $18.50 each to raise $1.26 billion.

The ZTO Express IPO has made headlines billing it as the largest U.S. IPO of a Chinese company since Alibaba went public in 2014.

But anything could happen when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing window opens on Monday morning, which could set the stage for the last week of October.

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.