NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's a busy week for initial public offerings as eight companies are scheduled to go public, and it looks like Tuesday's headliner, Yandex (YNDX) may be the star of the bunch.
Known as the Russian Google (GOOG), Yandex reportedly was able to price its stock sale at $25 per share, above a projected range of $20-$22 per share, allowing the Internet search company to raise $1.3 billion late Monday, according to The New York Times.
Another company that Yandex is often compared to is Baidu.com (BIDU - Get Report), and that would likely be fine with investors buying into the stock on its first day. Baidu shares, which are up more than 40% so far in 2011, went public in 2005 at $27 per share and closed Monday at $129.47.
Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia as well as the most visited Web site in the country, and Wall Street loves a market leader so this one seems likely to see a healthy spike once it opens. It'll also probably enjoy some benefit from the tremendous debut of LinkedIn (LNKD - Get Report) last week, as investors who missed out on that rocket ride up may refuse to take the chance of being left out this time around.Another big deal in this week's lineup is the $1 billion offering by Freescale Semiconductor (FSL), which is selling more than 43 million shares with pricing projected between $22 and $24 per share. Semi stocks have been pulling back lately, meaning this deal could suffer from poor timing. The company has more than 30% of the embedded processor market, but a negative book vale when compared to its peers. It also lost money in the March quarter, while its competitor were profitable. On a positive note, Freescale's sales increased 17% year-over-year to $1.19 billion in the March quarter, and the company's loss narrowed to $148 million from $257 million a year earlier. For 2010, Freescale lost $1.05 billion on revenue of $4.46 billion. This deal represents a return to the public markets for Freescale, a former Motorola spin-off that was acquired by a private equity consortium including The Blackstone Group (BX) in 2006. As always with a private equity deal, there's plenty of debt on Freescale's balance sheet, a whopping $7.6 billion as of April 1, to give investors pause. Francis Gaskins, president of the IPO Desktop, thinks if investors want to buy a semiconductor company, there are better choices with less risk. Freescale is expected to start trading on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "FSL." Solazyme (SZYM) isn't a huge IPO, but it is generating some buzz. The San Francisco-based company is looking to sell 10 million shares at a projected price range of $15-$17 when it makes its debut on the Nasdaq on Friday with the ticker symbol "SZYM." Solazyme makes oil from sugar cane and has lined up some big name partners. For example, Sephora inked a deal in March with cosmetics company Sephora, and television shopping company QVC for the marketing of an anti-aging line of skincare products. Solazyme also has a deal with Dow Chemical (DOW) related to the use of algal oils in bio-based dielectric insulating fluids, and Chevron (CVX) is a partner as well. The company, which has also received $21 million from the Department of Energy for construction of a biorefinery, is early in its commercialization stage, but could begin to generate revenue from these partnerships in the near future. The book-to-value ratio is in line with similar renewable product businesses.
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