The IPO Buzz: Lightning in the IPO Sky

Lightning crackled in the IPO sky last week, driving the aftermarket performance of 2019’s IPOs into noteworthy territory. To get the story, all you have to do is look at the data on the website. (This week, biotech deals and Slack – a Direct Public Offering – dominate the IPO Calendar. We’ll get to those in a bit.)

Look at the 2019 IPO Scorecard – June 16, 2019 on the lower right side of IPOScoop’s home page. The chart shows 65 IPOs had been priced as of Friday, June 14, 2019. (This total excludes unit offerings.) Of those 65 IPOs, 38 were in the winners’ column and 27 were in the losers’ column. The average gain for all 65 IPOs of 2019 stood at 39.6 percent, as of the close on Friday, June 14th.

In contrast, the year-to-date gain by the Nasdaq Composite Index was 17.5 percent.

Double Your Money

Seven IPOs of 2019 have more than doubled from their initial public offering prices. As of the close on Friday, June 14, 2019, those seven stocks and their gains are:

  • Beyond Meat (BYND) closed Friday, June 14, at $151.48, up 505.92 percent from its IPO price of $25.
  • ShockWave Medical (SWAV) closed Friday, June 14, at $58.20, up 242.35 percent from its IPO price of $17.
  • Zoom Video Communications (ZM) closed Friday, June 14, at $100.29, up 178.58 percent from its IPO price at $36.
  • PagerDuty(PD) closed Friday, June 14, at $57.37, up 139.04 percent from its IPO price at $24.
  • Revolve Group (RVLV) closed Friday, June 14, at $42.01, up 133.39 percent from its IPO price at $18.
  • Silk Road Medical (SILK) closed Friday, June 14, at $44.99, up 124.95 percent from its IPO price at $20.
  • Turning Point Therapeutics (TPTX) closed Friday, June 14, at $39.90, up 121.67 percent from its IPO price at $18.

Happy Returns

Three of the four IPOs priced last week posted some headline-grabbing returns, although their gains were not in the “double-your-money” zone:

  • Chewy (CHWY), the online pet-products retailer, closed Friday, June 14, which was its first day of trading, at $34.99, up 59.05 percent from its IPO price at $22.
  • CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD), the cybersecurity in the cloud company, closed Friday, June 14, at $64.16, up 88.71 percent from its IPO price at $34. (This deal was priced on Tuesday night, June 11th.)
  • Fiverr International (FVRR),  an online  marketplace for the Gig Economy, closed Friday, June 14, at $31.49, up 49.95 percent from its IPO price at $21. (This deal was priced on Wednesday night, June 12th.)

There was, however, one IPO priced last week that didn’t fare as well: Mohawk Group Holdings (MWK) closed Friday, June 14, at $8.50, down 15 percent from its IPO price of $10. (This deal was priced on Tuesday night, June 11th.) Mohawk uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify and market consumer products, including kitchen appliances, kitchenware and beauty products as well as air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

The average gain for all four IPOs priced last week was 59.93 percent. That’s a healthy outperformance of the Nasdaq, which is up 17.5 percent for the year so far.

Biotechs, Slack and Grocery Bargains

Six of the eight companies on this week’s IPO Calendar are biotechs. The marquee name this week is Slack Technologies, a Silicon Valley unicorn. (A unicorn is a private company with a valuation of $1 billion or more.) The remaining deal is Grocery Outlet Holdings, a network of independent grocery stores. Bankers expect to raise about $1.1 billion, although that figure does not include Slack.

Worth noting: Slack is technically not an IPO. It is a DPO – a Direct Public Offering. There is no underwriter. The initial reference price of the stock will be set by a New York  Stock Exchange specialist.

Most of this week’s action will take place Wednesday night, when seven of the week’s eight IPOs are expected to be priced. These deals are slated to start trading Thursday morning.

Let’s take a look at this week’s eight deals, organized by pricing and trading date.

Tuesday night pricing for Wednesday morning trading:

Stoke Therapeutics (STOK proposed), based in Bedford, Massachusetts, says it is pioneering a new way to treat the underlying causes of severe genetic diseases by precisely upregulating protein expression. Its initial focus is the treatment of different types of genetic epilepsy.

Wednesday night pricing for Thursday morning trading:

Akero Therapeutics (AKRO proposed), based in South San Francisco, is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing a treatment for NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis), a severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. There are no approved therapies for NASH, which is a leading cause of liver transplants.

Atreca (BCEL proposed), based in Redwood City, California, is a biopharmaceutical company using its differentiated platform to discover and develop novel antibody-based immunotherapeutics to treat a range of solid tumor types such as ovarian, lung, colorectal and breast cancer. In the prospectus, Atreca says it plans to file an IND application with the FDA for a Phase 1 trial of ATRC-101, its leading product candidate, “by the end of 2019.”

Dermavant Sciences (DRMT proposed), based in London, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics in medical dermatology. Its leading product candidate is a topical cream to treat psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, which are two of the largest growing immuno-dermatology markets, the prospectus says.

Grocery Outlet Holding (GO proposed), based in Emeryville, California, says it is a high-growth extreme value retailer of name-brand consumables and fresh products sold through a network of independently operated stores. Grocery Outlet stores offer “an ever-changing assortment of “WOW!” deals, complemented by everyday staple products,” the prospectus says.

Personalis(PSNL proposed), based in Menlo Park, California, is a growing cancer genomics company that is “transforming the development of next-generation therapies by providing more comprehensive molecular data about each patient’s cancer and immune response,” the prospectus says. Personalis is also developing a complementary liquid biopsy assay that analyzes all human genes.

Prevail Therapeutics (PRVL proposed), based in New York, is a gene therapy company focused on developing and commercializing treatments for patients with Parkinson’s disease with GBA1 mutation and neuronopathic Gaucher disease. The company’s pipeline of gene therapies is targeting a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including frontotemporal dementia.

Slack Technologies (WORK proposed), based in San Francisco, provides a workplace messaging, collaboration and data-sharing platform used by more than 10 million people in over 600,000 organizations in over 150 countries. Slack is offered on either a free or paid subscription plan. It’s been described as an alternative to email.

(For more information about these companies, please check the corporate profiles on’s website.)

June’s Final Week

For the week of June 24th, five companies are on the IPO Calendar. But that could change when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing window opens again 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 opinions.