Weekly Recap: Filing updates could foreshadow a busy March for the US IPO market

By Renaissance Capital,

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Several companies updated filings last week in what was otherwise a quiet period in the US IPO market. One microcap IPO was added to the IPO calendar , as Professional Diversity Network ( IPDN ), a group of online job posting sites for minorities, launched a $20 million offering. The sole new filing came from Ambit Biosciences ( AMBI ), a development stage biotech that revived its IPO plans after a 2011 IPO attempt.

Professional Diversity Network launches roadshow for $20 million IPO
After setting terms in December 2012 and then doubling its deal size to $20 million on February 13, Professional Diversity Network launched its roadshow last week. The company's online job posting sites have 2 million, mostly Hispanic-American and African-American members. It recently changed its source for job postings, which accounted for most of its $6 million in revenue for the twelve months ended September 30, 2012, from Monster Worldwide ( MWW ) to LinkedIn ( LNKD ). Aegis Capital is the sole bookrunner on the deal.

Ambit Biosciences files for $58 million IPO
Having withdrawn a previous IPO attempt in 2011, Ambit Biosciences filed for a smaller, $58 million IPO last week. In partnership with Astellas Pharma (4503.JP), the company is completing a Phase 2b trial on its lead drug candidate, a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. Revenue from collaboration agreements was $18 million in 2012. Backers include OrbiMed, Perseus-Soros Biopharmaceutical Fund, Roche and MedImmune Ventures. Citi and Leerink Swann are the joint bookrunners on the deal.

Filing updates pick up
Five other companies updated their IPO filings , raising the total to 17 updates over the past two weeks. This activity, combined with a large group of confidential filers, suggests that many deals could be ready to launch in the next few weeks. Larger candidates include theme park operator SeaWorld Entertainment ( SEAS ), homebuilder Taylor Morrison Home Corporation (TMHC), equities-focused investment firm Artisan Partners Asset Management (APAM), packaged foods company Pinnacle Foods (PF), smart grid provider Silver Spring Networks (SSNI) and, pending a shareholder  vote in early March, Empire State Realty Trust (ESB). The complete US IPO pipeline currently includes 110 companies looking to raise $31.2 billion. Just under 50% of these companies have filed an update within the last 180 days.

Recent IPO performance falls
The top two first-day performers of the year have struggled in the aftermarket and dragged down the performance of recent IPOs . 3D printing company ExOne (XONE) gained 67% in its first two days of trading (February 7-8), but it has fallen 11% since. Money transfer service Xoom (XOOM) jumped 59% on February 15, but it has dropped every day since, resulting in a -20% return from its first-day close. Compared with three weeks ago, the average aftermarket return for IPOs from the past 90 days has nearly halved, from 12% to 7%. In 2013, 20 IPOs have raised $5.5 billion, with a 14% average total return and a 2% average aftermarket return.

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
Referenced Stocks: AMBI , IPDN , LNKD , MWW , SEAS

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