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IPO Preview: Imperva, NewLink Genetics

NEW YORK ( TheStreet -- The IPO market is picking up again with Groupon's (GRPN - Get Report) successful debut confirming there is investor appetite for the right offerings.

Renaissance Capital notes that 11 companies are looking to make the leap next week, and if that comes to pass it will be the busiest week since November 2007.

This week's slate of new issues includes Imperva (IMPV - Get Report), a Redwood Shores, Calif.-based data security software provider that is seeking to raise $75 million. The company plans to sell 5 million shares at between $14 and $16 each, and is expected to debut on Wednesday.

Imperva targets small businesses with its on-demand web application security software with the idea that the product is cost-effective when compared to buying more hardware or hiring more IT people. The company's sales jumped $55 million for the nine months ended in September, up 45% from $38 million in the same period a year earlier. Despite the revenue jump though, Imperva's loss hasn't narrowed much at all, totaling $8.7 million for the latest nine-month period vs. a loss of $8.9 million in the same stretch the previous year.

Imperva mostly wants investors to look at its deferred revenue, which is the money it has invoiced but hasn't actually received yet. Deferred revenue, which is based on maintenance and support contracts, sat at $19.1 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, up 39% from its 2010 total $13.7 million, according to the company's latest S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

If investors are looking at Imperva's products as a gauge of whether to buy the new stock, the IPO may be a bit of a tough sell. As the company states in its filing, "We have limited historic financial data, and we operate in a rapidly evolving market, and as such, any predictions about our future revenue and expenses may not be as accurate as they would be if we had a longer operating history or operated in a more predictable market."

Hacker fear though is driving the data security market, which is expected to grow to $38 billion in 2014 from $27 billion in 2010. As of March, Imperva has three issued patents and seven pending patents, which isn't considered to be a large number when compared to its competition, which includes IBM (symbol) and EMC (symbol). The Imperva deal is rumored to be oversubscribed, and Francis Gaskins, IPO Desktop's president, believes investors should stay on the sidelines.

"Unless they have a big uptick from here on, it looks like it's hard to get to cash flow break even for them," said Gaskins.
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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AMGN $151.60 -4.06%
CELG $114.91 -2.55%
EMC $25.99 -1.31%
GRPN $5.06 -2.50%
IMPV $63.94 -3.11%

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