The IPO Buzz: Recovery Year in Rearview Mirror

While the major U.S stock market indexes closed out 2017 a shade off record highs, the IPO market could best be described as winding up a “recovery year.”

Investment bankers turned out a total of 151 IPOs in 2017, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. That was up from 94 IPOs in 2016, the same as the 151 IPOs in 2015 and well below 273 IPOs in 2014.

(Note: excludes the following “IPOs” from its head count: Bank conversions, “best efforts” offerings, Regulation A+ offerings (which are usually “best efforts” offerings), “blank checks” or special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), closed-end funds, companies trading on the Pink Sheets moving up to the NASDAQ, and those foreign-traded securities making their debuts in the U.S. capital markets. The latter are public offerings. Investors can buy the underlying shares on foreign exchanges before their U.S. pricing dates.)

On Dec. 29, 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 24,719.22, up 25.1 percent for the year. The S&P 500 closed at 2,673.61, up 19.4 percent for 2017, and the NASDAQ Composite Index closed at 6,903.39, up 28.2 percent for the year.

Worth noting: For 2017’s IPOs, the average gain was 27.5 percent for the year as of the market’s close on Dec. 29.

Vital IPO Stats for 2017

Here is what the 2017 calendar looked like on Dec. 29:

  • 151 IPOs priced during the year.
  • 102 closed above their IPO prices.
  • 49 closed below their IPO prices.
  • The win-loss rate was nearly 67.6 percent.
  • And bankers raised $35.9 billion.

(For more information about the above aftermarket performances, please check “Pricings” found on’s website.)

In flipping back through the record books, the record number of IPOs priced in any single year was 874 in 1996. The record in terms of dollar volume raised was $100.6 billion in 1999. But as we well know, those days of yesteryear are far back in the rearview mirror.

Sweet and Sour

Of this year’s traffic, we note 12 of 2017’s IPOs closed the year with gains of 100 percent or more from their IPO prices.

The winner was AnaptysBio (ANAB). It priced its IPO at $15 on Jan. 25, 2017, and closed its opening day at $17. On Dec. 29, it closed at $100.72, UP 571.5 percent from its IPO price.

The year’s loser was Blue Apron Holdings (APRN) It priced its IPO at $10 on June 28 and closed its opening day at $10. On Dec. 29, it closed at $4.03, down 59.7 percent.

(For more information about this company and others in this column, please check the profiles found on’s website.)

Heavy Traffic

The busiest industrial sectors were:

  • Healthcare: 41
  • Finance: 30
  • Technology: 26

(For more information about the above industrial sectors, please check the profiles found on’s website under “Pricings” – “By Industry.”)

Just One Snapshot

The 2017 calendar produced four IPOs that raised over $1 billion each. The biggest blockbuster was Snap (SNAP) with an IPO of $3.4 billion. Snap priced its IPO of 200 million shares at $17 each on March 1. It closed its opening day at $24.45. On Dec. 29, Snap closed at $14.61, down 14.1 percent from its IPO price.

And that wraps up 2017.

Happy New Year! Wishing all the best to everyone in 2018!

For glimpses of the IPO market in 2018, 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.