United States: Q2 2017 IPO Market Review

Last Updated: January 22 2018
Article by David Westenberg

The IPO market produced 45 IPOs in the second quarter of 2017, more than doubling the first quarter figure of 20 IPOs and bringing the total over the first half of 2017 to 65 IPOs. While the 2017 tally handily surpassed the 38 IPOs over the first half of 2016, it lagged the corresponding figures of 91 in 2015 and 132 in 2014, but was only two less than the median first‑half figure of 67 IPOs over the ten-year period preceding 2014.

The 45 IPOs in the second quarter of 2017 was the highest quarterly total since the 63 IPOs in the second quarter of 2015, that tally representing the second highest quarterly figure in the last ten years.

Gross proceeds in the second quarter of 2017 were $8.61 billion, up slightly from $8.09 billion in the first quarter. For the first half of 2017, gross proceeds totaled $16.70 billion—more than two and a half times the $6.11 billion raised over the first half of 2016 and only 5% shy of the first‑half average of $17.58 billion over the ten-year period preceding 2016.

Year-to-date, IPOs by emerging growth companies (EGCs) have accounted for 82% of all IPOs, down from 84% in 2016 and 93% in 2015. Since enactment of the JOBS Act in 2012, 85% of all IPOs have been by EGCs.

Life sciences companies have accounted for 17 of the year's IPOs, or 26% of the total, compared to 41% of IPOs in 2016, 47% of IPOs in 2015, and 35% of IPOs over the five-year period preceding 2017.

The median offering size for all IPOs over the first half of 2017 was $121.8 million—almost one-quarter higher than the median figure of $98.0 million over the five-year period preceding 2017. The 2017 increase was driven in part by a higher proportion of private equity–backed IPOs. PE-backed IPOs, with a median offering size of $243.0 million, accounted for 31% of all IPOs over the first half of 2017, compared to 24% over the five-year period preceding 2017.

The smaller proportion of IPOs by life sciences also contributed to the increase in median offering size. The median offering size for life sciences company IPOs over the first half of 2017 was $75.0 million, up from a median of $65.0 million over the five preceding years. Excluding private equity–backed IPOs, the median offering size for non-life sciences IPO companies in the first half of 2017 was $138.0 million.

Year-to-date, the median offering size for IPOs by EGCs was $101.8 million, just over one‑quarter of the $400.0 million for non-EGCs. From 2012 to 2016, the median EGC IPO offering size was $85.9 million, compared to $421.1 million for non-EGC IPOs.

The median annual revenue of IPO companies in the first half of 2017 was $125.1 million, close to double the $66.5 million figure for 2016, and 55% higher than the $80.9 million figure for the five-year period preceding 2016. EGC IPO companies over the first half of 2017 had median annual revenue of $85.8 million—more than double the median of $36.3 million over the preceding three-year period. The median annual revenue for non-EGC IPO companies over the first half of 2017 was $2.38 billion, almost one-quarter above the median of $1.93 billion over the preceding three-year period. Year to date, only 35% of life sciences IPO companies have generated revenue.

Over the first half of 2017, only one-quarter of IPO companies have been profitable, compared to 36% in 2016 and below even the 26% from 1999 to 2000 at the apex of the dot-com boom. Only 19% of EGC IPO companies were profitable, compared to 50% for non-EGCs. None of the year's life sciences IPO companies has been profitable.

In the first six months of 2017, the average IPO produced a first-day gain of 9%, compared to 12% in 2016 and lower than the annual figure for each year since 2009. Year to date, the average life sciences IPO company produced a first-day gain of 4%, compared to 11% for all other IPO companies. Over the first half of 2017, 23% of IPOs have been "broken" (IPOs whose stock closes below the offering price on their first day), compared to 24% in 2016 and 26% in 2015.

At June 30, the average 2017 IPO company was trading 14% above its offering price, with 31% of all 2017 IPOs trading below their offering price and 32% trading at least 25% above their offering price. The average 2017 life sciences IPO company was up 15% from its offering price at June 30, compared to a 14% gain for all other IPO companies.

IPO activity in the second quarter of 2017 consisted of offerings by the following companies listed in the order they came to market:

  • Schneider National, a leading transportation and logistics services company providing a broad portfolio of premier truckload, intermodal and logistics solutions and operating one of the largest for-hire trucking fleets in North America, priced at the midpoint of the range and was flat in first-day trading.
  • Elevate Credit, a provider of online credit solutions to consumers in the United States and the United Kingdom who are not well-served by traditional bank products and who are looking for better options than payday loans, title loans, pawn and storefront installment loans, priced an upsized IPO below the range and gained 19% on its first day of trading.
  • Okta, the leading independent provider of identity for the enterprise, priced at the high end of an upwardly revised price range and produced a first-day gain of 38%.
  • Azul, the largest airline in Brazil in terms of departures and cities served, with 784 daily departures serving 102 destinations, creating an unparalleled network of 203 non-stop routes as of December 31, 2016, priced an upsized IPO at the midpoint of the range and ended its first trading day up 7% from its offering price.
  • Netshoes, a leading sports and lifestyle online retailer in Latin America and one of the largest online retailers in the region, as measured by net sales, priced at the low end of the range and declined 11% in first-day trading.
  • Cadence Bancorporation, a bank holding company headquartered in Houston, Texas, priced at the midpoint of the range and gained 8% on its first day of trading.
  • Tocagen, a clinical-stage, cancer-selective gene therapy company focused on developing first-in-class, broadly-applicable product candidates designed to activate a patient's immune system against their own cancer from within, priced an upsized IPO at the low end of the range and produced a 25% first-day gain.
  • Warrior Met Coal, a large scale, low-cost U.S.-based producer and exporter of premium met coal operating two highly productive underground mines in Alabama that have an estimated annual production capacity of 7.3 million metric tons of coal, priced at the high end of the range and ended its first trading day down 5% from its offering price.
  • Yext, a provider of a platform that lets businesses manage their digital knowledge in the cloud and sync it to over 100 services, including Apple Maps, Bing, Cortana, Facebook, Google, Google Maps, Instagram, Siri and Yelp, priced above the range and ended its first day of trading up 22% from its offering price.
  • Select Energy Services, a leading provider of total water solutions to the U.S. unconventional oil and gas industry, priced below the range and ended its first trading day up two cents from its offering price.
  • Floor & Decor Holdings, a high-growth, differentiated, multi-channel specialty retailer of hard surface flooring and related accessories with 72 warehouse-format stores across 17 states, priced above the range and produced a first-day gain of 53%.
  • Verona Pharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics for the treatment of respiratory diseases with significant unmet medical needs, priced in line with the expected price and was flat in first-day trading.
  • Carvana, a leading eCommerce platform for buying used cars, priced at the midpoint of the range and ended its first day of trading down 26% from its offering price.
  • Cloudera, a company that empowers organizations to become data‑driven enterprises in the newly hyperconnected world, priced above the range and gained 21% in first-day trading.
  • China Rapid Finance, an operator of one of China's largest consumer lending marketplaces in terms of total number of loans, having facilitated approximately 15 million loans to approximately 2 million borrowers at significantly lower borrowing costs than many of the company's competitors, priced at the low end of a downwardly revised price range and produced a first-day gain of 7%.
  • Emerald Expositions Events, the largest operator of business-to-business trade shows in the United States by net square footage, with its oldest trade shows dating back over 110 years, priced below the range and ended its first day of trading up 15% from its offering price.
  • NCS Multistage Holdings, a leading provider of highly engineered products and support services that facilitate the optimization of oil and natural gas well completions and field development strategies, priced within the range and gained 18% on its first day of trading.
  • Zymeworks, an innovative, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, initially focused on the treatment of cancer, priced at the low end of the range and was flat in first-day trading.
  • Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of innovative, late-stage product candidates targeting neurological diseases, including rare disorders, priced an upsized IPO above the range and gained 3% from its offering price in first-day trading.
  • UroGen Pharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies designed to change the standard of care for urological pathologies, priced an upsized IPO at the midpoint of the range and produced a first-day gain of 8%.
  • Ovid Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused exclusively on developing impactful medicines for patients and families living with rare neurological disorders, priced at the low end of the range and declined 18% in first-day trading.
  • Guaranty Bancshares, a bank holding company with headquarters in Mount Pleasant, Texas, priced at the midpoint of the range and ended its first trading day up 11% from its offering price.
  • Gardner Denver Holdings, a leading global provider of mission-critical flow control and compression equipment and associated aftermarket parts, consumables and services, which the company sells across multiple attractive end-markets within the industrial, energy and medical industries, priced below the range and gained 6% on its first trading day.
  • Solaris Oilfield Infrastructure, a manufacturer and provider of patented mobile proppant management systems that unload, store and deliver proppant at oil and natural gas well sites, priced a downsized IPO below the range and ended its first day of trading down 4% from its offering price.
  • Veritone, a developer of a proprietary artificial intelligence platform that unlocks the power of cognitive computing to transform unstructured audio and video data and analyze it in conjunction with structured data in a seamless, automated manner to generate actionable intelligence, priced at the midpoint of the range and declined 13% in first-day trading.
  • ASV Holdings, a designer and manufacturer of a broad range of high quality compact track loader and skid steer loader equipment, marketed through a distribution network in North America, Australia and New Zealand under the ASV and Terex brands, priced below the range and produced a 12% first-day gain.
  • G1 Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, priced at the low end of the range and was flat in first-day trading.
  • argenx, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a deep pipeline of differentiated antibody-based therapies for the treatment of severe autoimmune diseases and cancer, priced a twice-upsized IPO in line with expectations and ended its first trading day with a 35% gain.
  • Bright Scholar Education Holdings, the largest operator of international and bilingual K-12 schools in China in terms of student enrollment as of September 1, 2016, priced above the range and produced a first-day gain of 28%.
  • SMART Global Holdings, a global leader in specialty memory solutions, serving the electronics industry for over 25 years, priced below the range and gained 22% on its first day of trading.
  • Appian, a provider of a leading low-code software development platform as a service that enables organizations to rapidly develop powerful and unique applications, priced at the midpoint of the range and ended its first day of trading up 25% from its offering price.
  • WideOpenWest, the sixth largest cable operator in the United States ranked by number of customers as of December 31, 2016, priced below the range and declined 3% from its offering price in first-day trading.
  • ShotSpotter, the leader in gunshot detection solutions that help law enforcement officials and security personnel identify, locate and deter gun violence, priced at the midpoint of the range and produced a first-day gain of 31%.
  • Athenex, a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer, priced at the low end of the range and ended its first day of trading up 14% from its offering price.
  • Boston Omaha, an operator of outdoor billboards, surety insurance and related brokerage activities and investments in real estate management and related activities, priced an upsized IPO at the midpoint of the range and gained 2% in first-day trading.
  • Altice USA, one of the largest broadband communications and video services providers in the United States delivering broadband, pay television, telephony services, Wi-Fi hotspot access, proprietary content and advertising services to approximately 4.9 million residential and business customers, priced within the range and ended its first day of trading up 9% from its offering price.
  • SG Blocks, a company in the business of modifying cargo shipping containers for use in construction, priced at the low end of the range and declined 2% in first-day trading.
  • Avenue Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of an intravenous formulation of tramadol HCl for the management of moderate to moderately severe postoperative pain, priced an upsized IPO at the midpoint of a lowered price range and produced a 38% first-day gain.
  • Esquire Financial Holdings, a bank holding company headquartered in Jericho, New York dedicated to serving the financial needs of the legal and small business communities on a national basis, priced at the low end of the range and ended its first day of trading up 9% from its offering price.
  • Mersana Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing antibody drug conjugates that offer a clinically meaningful benefit for cancer patients with significant unmet need, priced at the midpoint of the range and declined 7% in first-day trading.
  • Aileron Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is focused on developing and commercializing a novel class of therapeutics called stapled peptides, priced at the low end of the range and ended its first day of trading down 28% from its offering price.
  • Blue Apron, the leading U.S. recipe and fresh ingredient delivery service, priced at the low end of the range and was flat in first-day trading.
  • Dova Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing drug candidates for diseases that are treated by specialist physicians, with an initial focus on addressing thrombocytopenia, a disorder characterized by a low blood platelet count, priced an upsized IPO at the top of the range and produced a 17% first-day gain.
  • Byline Bancorp, a bank holding company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, priced at the low end of the range and gained 6% on its first trading day.
  • Tintri, a company that provides large organizations and cloud service providers with an enterprise cloud platform that offers public cloud capabilities inside their own data centers and that can also connect to public cloud services, priced a downsized IPO at the low end of the range and ended its first day of trading up 4% from its offering price.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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