John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Report: 2008 IPO Market Obviously Lousy

With the economy in contraction and the stock market going all to hell, 2008 was not a good year for the IPO market. In fact, volumewise, it’s looking like it was one of the worst in the last 13 years. Global IPO activity has more than halved since 2007, according to Ernst & Young’s year-end Global IPO update. Through November 2008 a total of 745 IPOs worldwide raised $95.3 billion in capital. That’s sharply off from 2007, when there were 1,790 offerings, which raised some $256.9 billion.

Clearly, the so-called IPO window has been slammed shut by the capital crisis. Indeed, data from Dealogic show that 298 IPOs were postponed or withdrawn over the past 11 months–quite a few more than the 167 that met that fate in all of the 2007. And those companies that went through with their offerings didn’t fare so well. Almost 50 percent of new issues fell on their first day of trading, and aftermarket performance was poor, according to Renaissance Capital; the average new issue was down 38 percent by year-end.

“Performance of 2008 new issues in the US was abysmal by historical standards, although not surprising given the steep decline in equities,” says Renaissance. “The average first day pop was a paltry 2%, down from the more than 10% average first day return investors became accustomed to in each of the last five years. A whopping 58% of all new issues traded down in their market debut, the worst first day showing in at least a decade and almost four times the IPO market’s 10-year average.”

Little wonder, then, that the U.S. went three months without an IPO during the second half of the year–the longest dry spell since the recession of the 1970s.

When will the IPO market return? Tough to say. Renaissance says there’s a lot of pent-up demand by potential issuers to raise equity capital. But they’re not likely to test the IPO waters until the financial markets stabilize.

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