The IPO Buzz: Over and Out for the Holidays

On Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, three IPOs made their debuts and that wrapped up 2018’s new-issues market. The calendar is “clean and green” from now until the end of the year.

This year’s curtain call is a little ahead of time. Looking back over the past six years, the IPO Calendar usually closed down during the third week of December. Let’s take a quick look.

  • 2017: The year’s last IPO was priced on Dec. 21, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
  • 2016: The year’s last IPO was priced on Dec. 15.
  • 2015: The year’s last IPO was priced on Dec. 17.
  • 2014: The year’s last IPO was priced on Dec. 18.
  • 2013: The year’s last IPO was priced on Dec. 17.
  • 2012: The year’s last IPO was priced on Dec. 18.

Given the U.S. stock market’s slide, maybe it is a good time to take off for a year-end holiday. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled almost 500 points to join both the NASDAQ Composite Index and the S&P 500 in correction mode. The Dow is down 10.2 percent from its recent high on Oct. 3rd. (Wall Street defines a correction as a drop of 10 percent or more from a recent high.)

Unicorns in Waiting

Nevertheless, this isn’t to say the 2019 IPO market is dead. It is waiting to be hatched after the first of the year. And there is a lot to consider.

Uber and Lyft made a splash in the first week of December when the news broke that they had filed confidential papers with the SEC for initial public offerings. The rival ride-hailing companies are unicorns, of course. (A unicorn is a private company with a valuation of $1 billion or more.) And there might be more unicorn IPOs in the future. CBInsights, a website that tracks unicorn companies, says the Global Unicorn Club now consists of 301 unicorn companies with a total cumulative valuation of $1,025 billion. That’s a trillion dollars, of course, or what most would call serious money.

Any way you slice it, that’s a lot of potential IPO traffic. will not publish “The IPO Buzz” next week, when Christmas will be celebrated on Tuesday. Most bankers have already taken time off to head home for the holidays – or catch the next flight to Bermuda or Bali to get in on some fun in the sun.

Happy Holidays to all from the staff of!

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.