NEW YORK ( TheStreet -- Despite all the hype from the Facebook filing, 2012 is off to a slow start when it comes to IPO activity. According to Renaissance Capital, only 8 IPOs have priced so far in the U.S. and just $800 million in proceeds have been raised. This week, 12 offerings are still on the docket after Erickson Air-Crane postponed. Unfortunately, this looks like a case of quantity over quality and there's a lot to avoid. Caesars Entertainment ( CZR) didn't exactly get off to a promising start when it delayed its pricing on Monday, citing a "technical glitch." The casino operator was able to pull off the pricing on Tuesday though, raising $16 million through the sale of 1.8 million shares at $9 each, the midpoint of its range. This one looks like a real gamble as the company is highly leveraged and will probably use new shareholder money to relieve some of debt pressure. Caesars isn't the only dodgy offering this week, Ceres ( CERE) is a close second. It's a biotech agriculture company that uses crops to generate fuel. The only problem is that the government is beginning to extract itself out of the energy crop subsidy business. Plus Ceres competes against giants like Dow Chemical ( DOW) and Monsanto ( MON). Ceres is hoping to raise $110 million on Thursday, seeking to sell 5 million shares at $21 to $23 each. Then there's GSE Holdings ( GSE), which tried to go public last year and postponed as the IPO market ground to a halt. GSE makes plastic membrane covers for use at garbage dumps and mines. It's a loss maker that's looking to sell 7 million shares at between $8 to $10 each, aiming to raise $63 million by Friday. Cancer drug developers are a hot IPO trend so far this year and the current week brings two more to the market. ChemoCentryx ( CCXI) is a biopharma company focused on discovering, developing and then commercializing drugs to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer. Its hook is small molecule targeting, and the company wants to raise $60 million for further clinical testing. It's offering 4 million shares with a pricing range of $14 to $16 per share. A price-to-sales ratio of 68.3X (at the midpoint of the range) for a company with no products seems expensive. TVAX Biomedical ( TVAX) is looking for $20 million from the market in order to fund its clinical trials too but it's really too small for retail investors to bother with. Roundy's Parent ( RNDY)is the largest offering of the week, and it priced on Tuesday, reportedly selling 19.2 million shares at $8.50 each, raising $163 million. A grocery store chain based in the Midwest, Roundy's sold more stock than expected but at a lower price compared to a projected range of $10-$12 each. It had been looking to bring in $200 million. Roundy's has good cash flow and says it plans to pay a hefty 8.4% dividend. IPO Desktop President Francis Gaskins warns investors not to get sucked into those promises. "In order to pay that dividend, Roundy's would have to pay out 73% of its net income, leaving little room for growth capital," said Gaskins. He also points out that its competitors Safeway ( SWY) and Kroger ( KR) only pay out 36% of their earnings.
FX Alliance ( FX) also has warnings flags on its offering. FX provides electronic FX trading products and is seeking $75 million from new shareholders. The old shareholders? That would be Citigroup ( C), Bank of America ( BAC), Goldman Sachs ( GS), and Morgan Stanley ( MS). They are all getting out. Selling 100%. Investors need to question whether they want this cast-off from the big banks. It isn't all bad, though. EPAM Systems ( EPAM) is an IT Services provider looking to raise $126 million, and it's worth a look. For the nine months ended in September, sales increased 58%. EPAM is seeking to sell 7.4 million shares at $16 to $18 each. The stock will be selling at a discount to peers like Sapient ( SAPE) and Infosys Technologies ( INFY). The company has a big presence in Eastern Europe and is enjoying a growing acceptance of IT out of the region as opposed to IT from India. It's priced well and has differentiated itself in a crowded field. Synacor ( SYNC) is a small offering of $75 million. The company packages and bundles content for Internet customers. Specifically, customers that want to compete with Google ( GOOG), Netflix ( NFLX) and Amazon ( AMZN). The company, which has only recently achieved profitability, is looking to sell 6.8 million shares at $10 to $12 each. Gaskins notes that at 70x adjusted earnings, the price could seem expensive. He said, "But if the rate of growth continues, then Synacor stock could increase in the after-market beyond the price range." -- Written by Debra Borchardt in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Debra Borchardt. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/wallandbroad. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.