Cylinders Firing on IPO Machine
Updated from 2:54 p.m. EDT
In the wake of Baidu.com (BIDU), new equity offerings are receiving a hero's welcome on Wall Street.
As you'll recall, Baidu.com gained 354% in its first day of trading Friday to close at $122.54. The shares have since drifted back to $93.30. Meanwhile, a number of other IPOs have tested investors' thirst for new stocks.
"So much for the summer doldrums," said Richard Peterson, an analyst with Thomson First Call. "This is shaping up to be one of the busiest weeks for IPOs this year."On Wednesday, Reddy Ice Holdings (FRZ) priced 10.2 million shares at $18.50 a share. Shares of the manufacturer and distributor of dry ice closed up 4.4% to $19.31. Also, fresh offerings from RBC Bearings (ROLL), Coley Pharmaceutical Group (COLY) and First Security Group (FSGI) also ended with gains. Coley was the biggest winner, adding 18% to $18.88. China Medical Holdings (CMED) priced its IPO at $15 a share. The stock ended up $1.20, or 8%, at $16.20. New shares of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse (RUTH) provided some sizzle in the IPO market Tuesday, cooking up a higher-than-expected $234 million and a first-day gain of 28.1%. Shares of Seaspan (SSW.N), a Hong Kong-based company formed to buy the containership business of Seaspan Container Lines, rose 0.6% to $21.12 on their first day on the Big Board on Tuesday. Seaspan's initial public offering of 28.6 million shares priced on Monday at $21 per share, in the middle of an estimated pricing range of $20 to $22 a share. K&F Industries (KFI), a long-established manufacturer of aircraft parts, made its debut in the stock market on Monday. Its IPO priced 18 million shares at $17.50, toward the high end of estimates, and the shares gained 5.4% in their first day to close at $18.45. Also on Monday, James River Group (JRVR) rose 11% to $20 after its IPO priced 4.44 million shares at $18 apiece. "The recent success in the IPO market reflects the fact that investors are getting more risk-averse," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist with Spencer Clarke LLC. "Despite the fact that the Fed has raised interest rates so many times in the past year, a lot of liquidity remains in global financial markets. That liquidity provides fuel for equity IPOs and other asset classes."
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