IPOs are taking a short vacation, but they'll be back in full swing after New Year's.
It'll be a light load until the middle of January, but December proved busy for a traditionally slow time for IPOs. This month, 41 deals have been priced, up from 22 last year, according to
Thomson Financial Securities Data
. And even though the IPO market doesn't generally heat up again until March, there are already 100 deals slated to go public in the first few months of 2000, compared with 68 deals filed at the same time a year ago.
With $70 billion raised in the IPO market for 1999 and deals up an average of 183% as of Thursday, according to Thomson Financial Securities Data, investors will be looking forward to continued good cheer in 2000.
The Bad News First
Alas, those growth investors hunting for the next hot Net infrastructure stock will have to wait. While there are a number of dot-com offerings lined up, the infrastructure plays, which have been among the leaders in the
incredible 80% rally this year, have yet to make it onto the calendar.
There aren't any specific infrastructure companies on investors' radar screens, says IPO analyst Tom Taulli of
. But not to worry, the analyst continues: "There's going to be a lot of segmentation" in the telecom-infrastructure sector, so more of these IPOs will hit the slate eventually.
Meanwhile, those awaiting the next
, up some 1,200% since its September IPO, or
, which went public in June at 35 and closed Thursday well above 300, will need to keep an eye out.
Casting a Wide Net
Don't despair, though: Some strong offerings are already on the calendar. Online retailer
, a $168 million
deal, will hit the market in January.
Credit Suisse First Boston
, one of the top investment banks for IPOs in 1999, according to Thomson Financial Securities Data, will underwrite offerings by
, a Canadian company that enables banks to offer online banking and financial services on mobile phones and personal digital assistants, and
, a Nashua, N.H.-based seller of training software.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
will bring public two Internet companies that have been generating a lot of buzz: online grocer
covered these two filings in a
story on Dec. 18.
Early next year will also see a series of college and teen-related Web sites, new entrants to a sector that has yet to impress investors. New York-based teen portal
, which just filed to go public, will be underwritten by Morgan Stanley, and will compete with teen sites
, both of which went public in 1999 and haven't fared well since then. Alloy Online has barely budged from its May 13 offer price of 15, and iTurf has been underwater since its April offering at 22, trading recently in the midteens.
deal, and Internet college resource
, a Credit Suisse First Boston deal, are also in line to go public in late January or early February. Also highly anticipated is
, a portal that focuses on the 12-29 age group and is one of the largest private companies ranked on
list of Web properties. It filed Thursday for an $86.3 million deal underwritten by
Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
Next year won't just be about dot-coms, though.
, a $2 billion deal underwritten by
, is on the docket for the first quarter, as is
. Doughnut king
, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., is slated to hit the public markets at the end of first quarter. And we can't forget
, the subsidiary of
that hopes to raise $100 million when it goes public with the backing of Goldman Sachs, most likely in February.
Until then, enjoy the IPO vacation. It's going to be a busy year.