4 Tech Stocks for 2012

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- While the window for tech initial public offerings remained closed during the third quarter with just four venture-backed companies pursuing IPOs, the trend appears to have reversed in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, Groupon ( GRPN) netted $700 million in an IPO despite scrutiny over its accounting metrics and concerns about its long-term ability to turn a profit. The offering was the largest since Google's ( GOOG) in 2004, as Groupon ended a dearth of IPOs in the last several months and opened up the doors for a slew of other high-profile companies to toss their hats into the ring.

"Groupon was the 800-pound gorilla everyone was waiting to see go out of the gates," said Lee Simmons, an analyst with Dun & Bradstreet. "They had such a strong showing it opened the gates even further for a flood of these IPOs to come down the pipeline."

Last Thursday, consumer reviews site Angie's List ( ANGI) raised $114 million in its IPO. Shares opened at $18, nearly 40% higher than its initial offer price.

On the same day, user review site counterpart Yelp filed for a $100 million IPO. Both Angie's List and Yelp are unprofitable.

Social gaming company Zynga also filed for an IPO and is rumored to be going out after Thanksgiving. The FamVille creator could boast the biggest offering yet as it looks to raise up to $1 billion.

As the market for tech IPO heats up, so does investor enthusiasm for the sector as a whole.

A recent study by Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick & West showed "up rounds" exceeded down rounds for venture financings 70% to 15%, meaning the price per share at which companies sold their stock has increased since their prior funding round.

We take a look at several newly public tech stocks, how they've performed this year and what analysts are expecting going into 2012.

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