A fast start to August on the heels of a busy July made it
seem as if the U.S. IPO market was rolling again, fully recovered
from the disastrous
back in May.
Now it seems as if the IPO market is back to square one.
It has been three weeks since the last initial public offering
- issued by
Hi-Crush Partners (
on August 15. That's the longest drought since the
five-week silent period
that followed Facebook's much-maligned debut on May 18.
This time, however, the silent period for the IPO market may
be more seasonal than anything.
As with most areas of the stock market, August is a
notoriously slow month
for IPOs. In fact, the seven companies that went public last
month made it the second-busiest August in the last five
September is hit or miss. Right now, no U.S. companies are
scheduled to price in the coming days or weeks, according to the
fantastic IPO web site, Renaissance Capital.
That's in line with last September, when zero U.S. companies
went public all month. That was also the case in 2008 - though
that September came smack dab in the middle of the worst
recession since the Great Depression.
In 2009 and 2010, however, there were 10 IPOs each year in
September. The U.S. IPO market would be hard-pressed to reach
even half that many this September.
Market volatility could be another explanation - except that
was historically low in August, with the S&P 500 trading
within the same 0.35% range for most of the month.
So seasonality may have more to do with this current IPO
drought than other more complicated scenarios one could
Besides, taken as a whole, the IPO market has behaved rather
normally to date in 2012.
Through the year's first eight months, 91 companies went
public on U.S. exchanges. Last year, the number was 96. The year
before, 87 IPOs had priced through August.
You get the point.
It's true that the IPO market has gone through fits and starts
since Facebook threw off its whole equilibrium. The 18 companies
that went public from July 18 through August 15 actually made it
one of the busiest stretches in recent memory.
So for you IPO investors ever-eager to get your hands on the
next big stock, don't worry: initial public offerings will return
For now, though, the IPO market has yet to emerge from its