The IPO Buzz: The Winds of October

October 2018’s IPO market kicks off with six deals looking to raise $783.49 million. That’s not a bad October opening. If every week of October keeps up that pace, then this month would turn out about 25 IPOs. That’s an “above average” performance for October, based on records going back 17 years.

Let’s take a look at October’s IPO traffic running back to 2001, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. From 2001 through 2017, October’s average IPO production was 19.3 deals per month. The month of October for all 17 years turned out 328 IPOs. The busiest October was in 2004, when 34 IPOs were priced. The slowest October was in 2008, when nothing got done. (No surprise there: Wall Street was reeling in October 2008 as the financial crisis got worse after Lehman’s bankruptcy filing in mid-September.)

Now let’s move on to the future and see what is riding in on the cooler winds of the first week of October. Five of this week’s six IPOs are new names, while one small deal – a $5 million offering by YayYo – is a carryover from last week.

Here is the lineup on this week’s IPO Calendar, organized by pricing and trading dates.

Week of Oct. 1st:

Arya Sciences Acquisition (ARYAU proposed), based in New York, is a “blank check” or special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) interested in acquiring North American or European companies in the life sciences or medical technology sectors, where its management has extensive experience. This is a unit offering of 12.5 million units at $10 a share.

YayYo (YAYO proposed), based in Beverly Hills, California, is a holding company focused on the transportation and ridesharing businesses.

Tuesday evening for Wednesday morning trading:

Upwork (UPWK proposed), based in Mountain View, California, says it operates the largest online global marketplace that enables businesses to find and work with highly skilled freelancers. In the 12 months ended June 30, 2018, Upwork says “our platform enabled $1.56 billion of GSV across 2.0 million projects between approximately 375,000 freelancers and 475,000 clients in over 180 countries,” according to the prospectus. GSV stands for gross services volume.

Wednesday evening for Thursday morning trading:

Guardant Health (GH proposed), based in Redwood  City, California, describes itself as a leading precision oncology company focused on helping to conquer cancer globally through the use of its proprietary blood tests. The company has launched its liquid biopsy tests, Guardant360 and GuardantOMNI, for advanced stage cancer, which fuel its programs to develop tests for recurrence and early detection, called LUNAR-1 and LUNAR-2, respectively.

Kodiak Sciences (KOD proposed), based in Palo Alto, California, is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics to treat chronic high-prevalence diseases of the retina.

Thursday evening for Friday morning trading:

Elastic N.V. (ESTC proposed), based in Mountain View, California, created the Elastic Stack (previously known as the ELK Stack), a powerful set of software products that ingest and store data from any source, and in any format, and perform search, analysis and visualization in milliseconds or less.

(For more information, check the company profiles by clicking on the individual company’s name on the IPO Calendar on the website.)

October’s Second Week

The IPO Calendar is a blank slate for the second week of October. But that could change when the SEC’s filing window opens for business again on Monday morning, Oct. 1st.

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 opinion.