The IPO Buzz: Lean Harvest under a Cloudy Sky

Three are new faces are pressing their noses against the IPO window. Four others are carryovers from past weeks, and the final IPO is planning to price over 33 million shares. But here’s what sets this last deal apart from the others. The trading for the offering is scheduled for the Nasdaq Global Market, jumping from the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board. Some might call this an IPO, but it isn’t. It is a public offering.
Nevertheless, investors have more things to worry about than this week’s planned IPO traffic.
Storm Watch
Investors’ interest this week will be focused on the stock market and watching to see if it holds or slips into a correction. Note: A correction is generally measured by a 10 percent pullback from a previous high. As of Friday’s close, on Oct. 17, 2014, all three major U.S. stock indexes had a cushion against a dreaded correction. Mark the following:
·         Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 16,380.41. Its previous closing high was set on Sept. 19, 2014, at 17,279.74. A 10 percent pullback would be 15,551.77.
·         Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 4,258.44. Its previous closing high was set on Sept. 18, 2014, at 4,593.43. A 10 percent pullback would be 4,134.09.
·         S&P 500 Index closed at 1,886.76. Its previous closing high was set on Sept. 18, 2014, at 2,011.36. A 10 percent pullback would be 1,810.22.
Worth noting: This time a month ago, people were dancing up and down Wall Street as the stock market was hitting all-time closing highs. A month later, people are nervously looking up at the cloudy sky and hoping that this, too, shall blow over.
Keeping It Liquid
Let’s take a quick look at a couple of the calendar’s new faces. Both are in the business of money.
Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin (ABCW – proposed) is a Madison, Wisconsin-based savings and loan holding company. Its flagship, AnchorBank, is the third-largest bank headquartered in Wisconsin, based on deposit balances as of June 30, 2014. Anchor offers commercial mortgages and residential housing loans plus a full range of financial services to more than 107,000 households and businesses. The offering is for only 371,959 shares.
Fifth Street Asset Management (FSAM – proposed) is a Greenwich, Connecticut-based alternative asset manager providing innovative and flexible financing solutions to small and mid-sized companies across their capital structure, mostly in connection with investments by private equity sponsors. The company defines small and mid-sized companies as those with annual revenues between $25 million and $500 million.
Vaping into a New Home
Perhaps the highest-profile deal this week is not an IPO. The company – a big name in the world of vaping or electronic cigarettes – will move its stock listing to Nasdaq from the OTC Bulletin Board.
Electronic Cigarettes International Group (ECIG) is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based marketer and distributor of electronic cigarettes. Its brands include VAPESTICK, FIN and Victory. Bankers plan to price 33.3 million shares on Thursday evening to trade on Friday morning. Its shares are currently traded on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board. Its first recorded trade took place on or about July 19, 2013, of 4,000 shares, closing at 56 cents per share.
There is nothing on the calendar for the week of Oct. 27, but one never knows what the future will bring.
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.