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) -- Insurance-risk specialist

Verisk Analytics

issued a huge initial public offering, the biggest by a U.S. company since


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Verisk said it raised $1.88 billion, higher than the $1.7 billion expected. The company sold about 85.3 million shares for $22 a share on Tuesday. Verisk originally intended to price its shares between $19 and $21 a share.

But its efforts were overshadowed by

Banco Santander


, which today booked $8.1 billion after listing its Brazilian arm, making it the richest IPO in the world this year.

American International Group

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Hartford Financial Services

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Travelers Cos.

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own stakes in Verisk and will receive some of the proceeds.

Warren Buffett's

Berkshire Hathaway


is also a part owner, but isn't selling any shares in the offering.

Verisk was founded in 1971 as a provider of risk-assessment data for the U.S. property- and casualty-insurance industries. The company says it earned $90.9 million, on revenue of $503.7 million, in first half of the year, compared with income of $80.9 million on revenue of $437.7 million in the year-earlier period.

Versik will be listed on Nasdaq under the symbol VRSK.

IPOs have been a hot topic as the stock market sees a slight uptick. In the third quarter, the number of initial public offerings soared 240%, according to Hoover's IPO Scorecard. During the quarter, 17 companies went public on one of the major U.S. stock exchanges, raising $5.5 billion in the process.

Recent IPOs include

A123 Systems



Shanda Games

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Echo Global Logistics

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, companies riding a renewed wave of offerings, after the IPO market was all but shut down during the depths of the Great Recession.

And the trend doesn't appear to be slowing any time soon. Indeed, there are murmurs that

another big deal is in the works

, this time for

Toys 'R' Us

. The retailer has declined requests by TheStreet to comment on the speculation.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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