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IPO Market Roars Back to Life

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The IPO market has kicked into high gear this week with deals ranging from $90 million to above $600 million making debuts.

These freshly minted public companies cover a broad spectrum of industries, from the high tech smart board company SMART Tech to old school coal producer Oxford Resources Partners. There's even a relisting of a private equity pioneer thrown in for good measure.

But while the influx of offerings is good news for investment banks raking in fees and the companies themselves, investors haven't done so well with IPOs in the past year. The Renaissance Capital IPO Index is down 3.5% year-to-date and delivered a negative return of 8.3% through the end of the second quarter.

In its quarterly analysis of the IPO market, Renaissance Capital noted conditions were returning "to more normalized issuance levels" with 60 new IPOs added to the index in the first half of 2010 alone. The best performance was turned in by telecom companies and the worst performers were financial companies.

Independent IPO Analyst Francis Gaskins breaks down each offering coming to market this week, including two making their debut on Thursday). There are pros and cons for each company and the biggest isn't necessarily the best. Investors should always ask themselves "Why is the company going public?"

The answer usually foretells whether it will be a good deal or not.
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