US IPOs Slump, After Surging Earlier in Year

Friday, 23 May 2014 11:26 AM

By Dan Weil

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Initial public offerings came to the market at a dizzying pace at the beginning of 2014, but now the pace is slowing, as investors shy away from growth stocks, particularly in the once-hot technology sector.

Seven IPOs have been withdrawn this month, the most since 14 were pulled back in November 2012, according to Dealogic, the Financial Times reports.

Editor’s Note: Retire 10 Years Earlier With These 4 Stocks

And almost 50 percent of companies that went public in April and May came out at a price below their target range. The first-day gain for those IPOs totaled only 8 percent, down from 18 percent in the first quarter.

"While growth stocks prices were expanding, investors were willing to aggressively value companies, making it a constructive environment for technology IPOs," David Ludwig, a partner in the equities capital markets group at Goldman Sachs, told the FT.

"Now that valuations have contracted and investors endured significant losses, it is harder to convince them to participate, but the market is not closed."

The Chinese e-commerce company JD.com was able to attain an IPO price above its target range this week. And its shares soared as much as 20 percent in their first day of trading Thursday.

Another positive piece of news for tech IPOs: a Wall Street Journal analysis of 148 U.S. tech companies with recent or pending IPOs shows that none of them is spending at a pace that would exhaust their cash reserves within a year.

That represents quite a contrast to March 2000, when the dot.com bubble burst. Barron's reported then that 25 percent of Internet companies were spending at a pace to burn through their cash within 12 months, which many did.

Editor’s Note: Retire 10 Years Earlier With These 4 Stocks

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