The IPO Buzz: Two-Way Street

It was Infinera (NASDAQ: INFN). (More on it later.)
By Friday’s close, the three major U.S. stock market indexes had lost about 2 percent each for the week. But last week’s IPO traffic posted an average gain of 27.3 percent. Technology deals led the IPO charge down Wall Street. (For premium subscribers and newsletter subscribers, please see “IPO Traffic.”) 
Now back to Infinera, a Sunnyvale, California-based telecommunications company. Infinera has developed a solution that its believes will change the economics, the operating simplicity, the flexibility, the reliability and the scalability of optical communications networks.
It looked as if others had the same thought.
Infinera priced its IPO on Wednesday at $13 per share, above its $10 to $12 filing range. It opened on Wednesday at $16, closed its opening day at $19.71 and ended the week at $25.16 per share — UP 93.5 percent from its offering price.
That two-day run vaulted Infinera past all of the other 88 companies that have gone public so far in 2007. No. 2 on the “Glad-I-Bought” list was FCStone Group (NASDAQ: FCSX), a West Des Moines, Iowa-based commodity risk management company. FCStone closed Friday at $46.17 per share — UP 92.4 percent from its $24 initial offering price.
Lights Off
Nevertheless, there was an unexpected casualty in the new-issue ranks.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE), a Chinese solar-cell manufacturer, was the only loser among seven deals that made their debuts last week. Yingli was priced at $11 — the low end of its $11 to $13 filing range. It opened at $10.80 and never got back up to its offering price. It closed at $10.50, DOWN 4.55 percent from its initial offering price.
Yingli’s aftermarket action was a case of getting dragged under by the meltdown from China’s stock market and the previous week’s sudden collapse of another highly regarded Chinese solar company, LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK).  
LDK Solar’s IPO was priced at $27 per share on Friday, May 31. That was on the high end of its $25- to $27-per-share filing range. LDK opened at $28, ran up to over $30 and fell out of bed. A week later, on Friday June 8, it closed at $23.74, DOWN 12.1 percent from its offering price.
You can almost hear the lights being turned off on the Chinese solar-call IPOs.
On the Calendar
This week, bankers fall back on two favorite sectors -– one that’s been in and out of play (insurance) and another that isn’t (ethanol).
GeoVera Insurance Holdings (NASDAQ: GEOV proposed), a Hamilton, Bermuda-based provider of specialty residential property insurance products, plans to price 5.9 million shares at $16 to $18 each on Tuesday evening to trade on Wednesday.
Let’s look at the last deal priced from this sector. Greenlight Capital Re (MASDAQ: GLRE), a Cayman Island-based property and casualty reinsurance provider, priced its IPO at $19 per share on May 23. On Friday, it closed at $23.64 — UP 24.4 percent from its offering price.
The ethanol sector will get another run around the IPO block this week. As an alternative energy source, ethanol has attracted a lot of fans –- among them, corn farmers who have seen the price of their cash crop skyrocket with the demand for it from ethanol producers. That’s the good news. For investors, though, a note of caution is warranted. Not every ethanol IPO is a high-voltage affair.
Biofuel Energy (NASDAQ: BIOF proposed), a Denver-based development stage ethanol producer, plans to price 9.5 million shares  at $16 to $18 each on Tuesday evening to trade on Wednesday.
The most recent ethanol producer to go public is US BioEnergy, (NASDAQ: USBE), an Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota-based company. It priced its IPO at $14 per share on Dec. 14, 2006. On Friday, it closed at $11.69 per share — DOWN 16.5 percent from its offering price.
All in all, there are five deals on this week’s IPO calendar. They expect to raise about $676 million.
For subscribers: Please check the IPO SCOOP Rated Calendar for the latest Street Consensus of Opening Premium ratings, and stand by for IPO Alert e-mails for any changes in those SCOOP ratings.
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