The IPO Buzz: Wild Ride of the Unicorns

The blockbuster IPOs of companies valued at $1 billion or more, generally known as unicorns, have not been sprinkling magic dust on the new-issue calendar.

Five such IPOs have come to market so far in 2019. Two worked out well, two flopped and the remaining one scored a modest gain above its IPO price. At Friday’s close, three ended above their IPO price, while two slipped below that level. The average gain for all five unicorn IPOs of 2019 was 2.08 percent. That performance fell far short of the average gain for all 56 IPOs priced this year.

IPOScoop reports the annual average gain for all IPOs for the year to date. As of the closing bell on Friday, May 17, 2019, that average gain was 30.68 percent. That gain sharply exceeded the performance of the Nasdaq Composite Index. The Nasdaq closed on Friday at 7,816.28, up 17.8 percent for 2019.

And now for the names of those unicorns:

Avantor (AVTR) priced its IPO of 207 million shares at $14 each on Thursday, May 16th and the stock closed Friday at $14.50, up 3.6 percent.

Lyft (LYFT) priced its IPO of 32.5 million shares at $72 each on March 28th and the stock closed Friday at $53.79, down 25.3 percent.

Pinterest (PINS) priced its IPO of 75 million shares at $19 each on April 17th and the stock closed Friday at $26.70, up 40.5 percent.

Tradeweb Markets (TW) priced its IPO of 40 million shares at $27 each on April 3rd and the stock closed Friday at $43.79, up 62.2 percent.

Uber Technologies (UBER) priced its IPO of 180 million shares at $45 each on May 9th and the stock closed Friday at $41.91, down 6.9 percent.

Yes, We Have No Unicorns – This Week

Rest assured: No unicorns are on this week’s IPO Calendar.

There are, however, three healthcare companies, plus one oil and gas limited partnership and a blank check offering. Four of the five IPOs are scheduled to start trading Thursday morning, May 23rd. These IPOs are expected to raise $1.18 billion.

Let’s take a look at this week’s five IPOs, organized by pricing and trading dates.

Tuesday evening pricing for trading Wednesday morning, May 22:

GX Acquisition (GXGXU proposed), based in New York City, is a blank check company focused on acquisitions of businesses in a variety of industries, including the energy, infrastructure, telecom/media, technology, consumer products and services, financial services and manufacturing sectors. This is a unit offering of 25 million units at $10 each.

Wednesday evening pricing for trading Thursday morning, May 23:

Bicycle Therapeutics (BCYC proposed), based in the United Kingdom, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a novel class of medicines for diseases that are underserved by existing therapeutics. Its lead product candidate is being developed to treat cancer patients with advanced solid tumors.

IDEAYA (IDYA proposed), based in South San Francisco, is an oncology-focused precision medicine company committed to the discovery and development of targeted therapeutics for patient populations selected using molecular diagnostics. Its leading drug candidate is targeting melanoma of the iris in the eye.

Peloton Therapeutics (PLTX proposed), based in Dallas, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on translating novel scientific insights into first-in-class medicines for patients with kidney cancer and other debilitating or life-threatening conditions.

Rattler Midstream Partners LP (RTLR proposed), based in Midland, Texas, is a growth-oriented Delaware limited partnership formed by Diamondback to own, operate, develop and acquire midstream infrastructure assets in the Midland and Delaware Basins of the Permian Basin, one of the world’s most prolific oil- and gas-producing areas.

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

Memorial Day Week

For the week of May 27, 2019, which begins with the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, the IPO Calendar is blank. But anything can happen when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing window opens again for business on Monday morning.

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.