Paylocity IPO trades up 41% ahead of March (tech IPO) madness


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Paylocity ( PCTY ) gained  41% on its first day of trading and represents the first of 11 technology IPOs scheduled for the next two weeks. Five more are expected this week and another five are  on the calendar  for next week. Only two tech companies debuted in January and February (CRCM, VRNS), but March's 13 should make it the most active month for tech IPOs since 2000.

The week's five remaining software-based IPOs include Q2 Holdings ( QTWO ), a SaaS that enables online banking for local branches. Amber Road ( AMBR ) provides cloud-based global trade management software, while Borderfree ( BRDR ) helps US retailers establish international e-commerce. A10 Networks ( ATEN ) produces software-based appliances that optimize data center performance. Globoforce (THNX) lets companies better recognize employees by offering gift cards for their achievements. However, the year's largest tech deal will be next week's King Digital (KING), the Candy Crush developer looking to raise $500 million. As we noted in this week's recap , several of these software products are used by a company's human resources, but next week's TriNet (TNET) outsources the HR department altogether.

The pipeline of tech IPOs will have several highly anticipated deals even after March's deluge. These include major consumer companies like GrubHub (GRUB) and Travelocity-owner Sabre (SABR). Chinese Internet filers include Weibo, Leju and Alibaba, another Chinese Internet company that could be the year's largest IPO, recently announced it would list in New York. With some analysts valuing the company as high as $140 billion and expecting it to raise $15 to $18 billion, it is possible that Alibaba's IPO will raise more proceeds than all Chinese IPOs in the last 8 years .

The upcoming tech offerings are no doubt encouraged by the market's exuberance for the sector this year. After Paylocity's trading today, the five tech IPOs of 2014 have averaged a first day pop of 84%. However, the sector's average post-IPO performance has been -9%, driven by Castlight (CSLT) and trading down 21% and 23%, respectively, since their opening days. Despite being negative in the aftermarket, total returns for tech IPOs are 66%.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: News Headlines , IPOs
More Headlines for: PCTY , QTWO , AMBR , BRDR , ATEN

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