The IPO Buzz: Lights, Camera, Dropbox!

The mood on Wall Street picked up last week with the word that Dropbox filed confidentially for an IPO. Dropbox, the photo and video file-sharing and storage service, generated enough light and heat in the headlines to show that January 2018 was starting off with a bang.

Consider what took place.

Two IPOs made it to market last week. On top of that:

  • Nine companies filed plans to go public with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, expecting to raise $997 million. That increased 2018’s totals to 12 new filings expecting to raise $1.63 billion.
  • Another nine companies updated their IPO filings, expecting to raise $3.3 billion. That increased 2018’s totals to 14 companies aiming to raise $6.3 billion.
  • Another unicorn – namely Dropbox – was reported to have submitted a confidential filing. That’s two unicorns in the first two weeks of 2018.
  • And January’s new-issue calendar swelled to 10 IPOs expecting to raise about $5.5 billion.

The unicorns were Dropbox, which lets its users easily store and share documents along with photos and videos, and Spotify, one of the largest music streaming services. Dropbox is reportedly valued at about $10 billion. Spotify is reportedly valued at about $19 billion.

Blowing Past January Norms

From 2001 through 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s records show that the January calendar priced an average 7.6 IPOs and raised an average $1.65 billion for that 17-year span. The January 2018 IPO calendar is on track to roar right past those numbers.

And now on to the future: This week has four IPOs on the calendar. They expect to raise $2.8 billion; more about these in a minute. Next week has six IPOs. They expect to raise $2.7 billion; more about these next week.

The U.S. stock market and the SEC will be closed on Monday, Jan. 15, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader on or near his birthday. (This year’s holiday falls right on the day.)

So the curtain on this week’s IPO action will go up on Tuesday.

Alarms, Warehouses, Oil and More  

This week’s four IPOs are ADT (ADT – proposed), Americold Realty Trust (COLD – proposed), Nine Energy Service (NINE – proposed) and One Madison (OMADU – proposed)..

ADT, based in Boca Raton, Florida, provides residential customers and small businesses with electronic security, fire protection and other alarm monitoring services in 35 countries. The company was formed in 1874 as American District Telegraph (ADT) when it installed callboxes in NYC and sent “messenger boys” to help customers, the prospectus says. ADT plans to offer 111.1 million shares at $17 to $19 each to raise $2 billion.

Americold Realty, based in Atlanta, is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates cold storage warehouses around the world. The company plans to make an annual cash distribution of 75 cents per unit to yield 5 percent based upon the mid-point of its $14-to-$16 price range.

Nine Energy Service, based in Houston, provides onshore completion and production services, including hydraulic fracturing or fracking, to develop oil and gas resources in the major shale basins of North America.

One Madison, based in New York City, is a “blank check” company formed to execute a merger, asset acquisition, reorganization or other business combination with one or more businesses. Its business strategy includes “targeting consumer products companies with attractive brands,” along with opportunities in the food and beverage industry, tools and building products and other sectors, the prospectus says.

(For more information about these companies and others on the IPO calendar, please check the profiles found on’s website.)

Next Week

For the week of Jan. 22, 2018, the IPO calendar lists six deals expecting to raise $2.7 billion. However, when the SEC opens its filing window again on Tuesday morning after the long MLK holiday weekend, anything can happen.

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.