The IPO Buzz: Under October’s Harvest Moon

The IPO market is in sync with the harvest moon, the first one to occur in October since 2009. This year, the harvest moon lit up the sky in the Northern Hemisphere on Oct. 5th, instead of its more traditional timing in late September on or near the autumnal equinox. Bankers – perhaps borrowing a page from farmers and folklore – appeared to be using the light of the harvest moon last week to get more work done. Let’s take a look.

The calendar produced two IPOs that opened with pops last week, while the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing window showed that 10 companies filed plans to go public, and another eight updated their filing terms with the SEC. Worth noting: Four more companies landed on this week’s IPO calendar and another four companies on next week’s calendar.

This week’s IPO volume is quiet – about $300 million. But next week’s traffic is expected to raise over $1.7 billion. This upswing is in keeping with the trend over the last five years, when October’s IPO market has been good.

IPOs of Octobers Past

Listed below are the October IPO stats for the past five years, according to SEC filings:

  • October 2016: 21 IPOs that raised $5.3 billion.
  • October 2015: 20 IPOs that raised $5.8 billion.
  • October 2014: 33 IPOs that raised $7.6 billion.
  • October 2013: 32 IPOs that raised $11.2 billion.
  • October 2012: 23 IPOs that raised $5.6 billion.

Jump Shots

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals (RYTM) and Switch (SWCH) went public last week. Each stock jumped on its first day of trading.

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals priced 7.1 million shares at $17 each on Wednesday, Oct. 4, above its filing range of 6.67 million shares at $14 to $16 each. The stock closed its opening day on Thursday, Oct. 5, at $30 – UP 76.5 percent from its IPO price.

Switch priced 31.25 million shares at $17 each on Thursday, Oct. 5, above its price range of $14 to $16 each. The IPO closed its opening day on Friday, Oct. 6, at $20.84 – UP 22.6 percent from its IPO price.

(For more information about these companies, please check the IPO profiles found on’s website.)

Hello, Columbus

This week’s calendar lists four IPOs expecting to raise $308 million, but the Columbus Day holiday on Monday, Oct. 9, will serve as a speed bump on Wall Street. The SEC and other U.S. government agencies will be closed for the federal holiday. Nevertheless, here’s what is on tap: CarGurus (CARG – proposed), OptiNose (OPTN – proposed), OrthoPediatrics (KIDS – proposed) and Restoration Robotics (HAIR – proposed).

CarGurus, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an online marketplace for new and used cars. As of June 30, 2017, the company had a dealer network of over 40,000 dealers and offered a selection of over 5.4 million car listings. The company believes it provides the largest number of car listings available on any of the major U.S. online automotive marketplaces. In addition to the United States, CarGurus operates online in Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Note: Of the 9.4 million shares being offered, CarGurus plans to offer 2.5 million shares and selling shareholders will offer offer 6.9 million shares, according to the prospectus.

OptiNose, based in Yardley, Pennsylvania, develops and commercializes products for ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors and allergy specialists. The company’s lead product candidate is XHANCE, a therapeutic product using its proprietary breath-powered exhalation delivery system to deliver a topically acting and potent anti-inflammatory corticosteroid to treat chronic rhinosinusitis – with and without nasal polyps.

OrthoPediatrics, based in Warsaw, Indiana, is a medical device company offering orthopedic implants and instruments to pediatric orthopedic surgeons to help them improve the lives of children with orthopedic conditions. The company offers surgical systems for trauma and deformity, bone fractures and reconstruction procedures.

Restoration Robotics, based in San Jose, California, is a medical technology company developing and commercializing a robotic device, the ARTAS System, to assist with hair restoration surgery. This device helps physicians perform many of the repetitive tasks that are a part of follicular unit extraction surgery, a type of hair restoration procedure.

October’s Rising Tide

In keeping with the rising tide under October’s harvest moon, the IPO calendar for the week of Oct. 16th has four deals that aim to produce over $1.7 billion. However, when the SEC opens its filing window again on Tuesday morning, anything can happen.  (That’s not a misprint. The SEC will be closed on Monday for Columbus Day.)

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.