The claim to fame for BATS is that it offers low-cost, rapid trade execution. It measures success in nanoseconds and leads its competitors. Speed, though, can't make up for the lack of trading volume of late. In fairness, trading volume for all the exchanges has fallen since the financial crisis, causing competition in the space to become fierce.
BATS does have a pricing advantage since it only has 170 employees and its revenue per employee is higher than the NYSE. Gaskins likes BATS because it owns its own technology, and thinks it looks like a buy, saying it might be "interesting" in the aftermarket.
Other deals for the week include ExactTarget (ET), which is hoping to raise $136 million and price its shares at the mid-point of $16. It's a cloud company that provides software that specializes in interactive marketing. Its revenues have increased, but so have the losses.
CaesarStone Sdot-Yam (CSTE) is a manufacturer of engineered quartz countertops. The company is seeking to raise $100 million, selling 6.7 million shares at $14-$16 each. The company has 20% of the U.S. countertop market. It's a leader, but it's a fragmented business dependent on the housing market.Finally Vipshop Holdings (VIPS) is scheduled for a $106 million offering with shares seen pricing in a range of $8.50 to $10.50 each. The company is a China-based online discount retailer, and is following in the fine tradition of Chinese IPOs with confusing organizational structures. Gaskins suggests investors stay away from Vipshop. --Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.
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