The IPO Buzz: Mild IPO Start for March

The last IPO to come to market was the Feb. 15th offering of XOOM (XOOM), a San Francisco-based provider of online consumer-to-consumer international money transfers. The company priced its IPO of 6.3 million shares at $16 each and caught fire in the aftermarket. The IPO closed its opening day at $25.49. XOOM closed on Friday, March 1, at $22.32, UP 39.5 percent from its initial offering price.
Now let’s turn to this week and what is on the launching pad. The IPO handicappers are not expecting the same fireworks. Here are the profiles of this week’s prospects.
The Diversity Connection
Professional Diversity Network  plans to price 1.8 million shares at $10 to $12 each to raise $20 million. The offering is expected to be priced on Monday evening and to start trading Tuesday morning on the NASDAQ Global Market under the proposed symbol “IPDN.” The lead manager is Aegis Capital. The co-manager is Merriman Capital.
Based in Chicago, Professional Diversity Network develops and operates online networks to serve diverse professionals. It focuses on Hispanic-American and African-American professionals. Recently the company launched additional websites for other diverse segments, such as women, Asian-American, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), differently abled and military professionals. The company believes it serves more than 2 million members and more than 3,000 companies and organizations. Most of these listings came through an exclusive agreement with Monster Worldwide, which expired on Dec. 31, 2012, and was not renewed. Formed in 2003, Professional Diversity Network has about 23 employees.
The company plans to sell all of the shares in the offering. It expects to have about 5.5 million shares outstanding after the offering.
Back to the Market
Artisan Partners Asset Management plans to price 11.5 million Class A common stock at $27 to $29 each on Wednesday evening.(Artisan originally planned to go public in 2011 and then withdrew. See details below.) Artisan is expected to start trading on Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange under the proposed symbol “APAM.” The joint-lead managers are Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. The co-managers are BofA Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Sandler O’Neill and Scotiabank.
Based in Milwaukee, Artisan Partners is an independent investment management firm providing U.S., non-U.S. and global equity investment strategies. It had about $74.3 billion in assets under management, as of Dec. 31, 2012. Formed in 1994, Artisan has about 273 employees.
Note: Artisan expects to pay its first dividend of 43 cents per share for its Class A common stock. The company plans to pay the dividend in the third quarter of 2013.
Artisan plans to sell all of the shares in the offering. After the offering, the company expects to have about 11.5 million shares of Class A common stock, about 26.3 million shares of Class B common stock, and about 28.6 million shares of Class C common stock.
This is the company’s second attempt to go public.
On April 6, 2011, Artisan Partners filed for an IPO to raise $250 million. Eight months later – on Dec. 29, 2011 – the company withdrew its registration.
On Nov. 1, 2012, the company filed again to go public.
That brings us to next week, which has just one deal on the calendar. But under the JOBS Act, the calendar can fill up quickly.
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.