Boutique investment bank Cowen ( COWN) swung to a profit in the second quarter, as revenue from stock underwriting and private placements fueled a big turnaround at the firm. The profit report from Cowen is the investment firm's first since being spun-off by France's Societe Generale in a $179.5 million IPO last month. In the second quarter, Cowen earned $5.6 million, compared to a net loss of $2 million in the same quarter last year, when the firm was still part of Societe Generale. Revenue was $83.6 million, up over 56% from $53.5 million last year. "We are pleased with our solid second-quarter results," the company said in the release. "The quarter's results were driven by an excellent performance in our investment banking business, specifically in our capital raising activities. We view the second-quarter results as being healthy, particularly considering the slowdown in activity during the second half of the quarter." Revenue in the group's equity underwriting division was up more than 82.5%, to $17.5 million from $9.6 million the previous year. Private placement revenue, which includes revenue earned on PIPEs deals, or private investment in public equity, was more than five times higher than the year-ago quarter to $17.7 million. Cowen did not provide an earning-per-share figure. No analysts are following the company at this time.
Cowen shares debuted on the Nasdaq Stock Market in early July, in a disappointing initial public offering. Shares priced at $16 apiece, below the anticipated price range of $19 to $21 a share. Since the offering shares have fallen as low as $13.30, and have failed to lift above the offer price. Shares were up 28 cents, or 1.19%, to $14.69 in early trading Tuesday. Meanwhile, shares of boutique investment bank Evercore ( EVR) continue to rise. The firm started by Roger Altman, a former U.S. deputy treasury secretary, first issued shares last week at $21. In early trading Tuesday, shares were up more than 27% from the issue price to a recent quote of $26.70.