These will be the first IPOs of 2019

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As expected, the 2019 US IPO market is off to a slow start. This is largely driven by three factors:

1. January is typically a less active month for IPOs
2. The market's recent downturn and spike in volatility makes it difficult to price new deals
3. There will be no IPOs until the US's partial government shutdown is resolved

However, recent filings point to the most likely candidates for 2019's first IPOs. Continuing a major theme of last year, these have mostly been  biotechs and Chinese companies , despite some recent poor returns from both groups. Biotechs are not impacted by broader economic forces, and for both biotechs and Chinese companies, many recent IPOs included significant insider buying, in several cases over 75% of the offering.

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Seven biotechs have submitted initial filings in the past few weeks , notably Gossamer Bio ( GOSS ), which plans to raise $265 million, and Alector ( ALEC ), on file for $150 million.

7 Recent Biotech IPO Filings
Est. Deal
File DateLead
Alector ( ALEC )$150M01/07/19Morgan Stanley
Anchiano Therapeutics ( ANCN )$35M01/07/19Oppenheimer
Poseida Therapeutics ( PSTX )$115M01/04/19Citi
Stealth BioTherapeutics ( MITO )$86M12/28/18Jefferies
TCR2 Therapeutics (TCRR)$100M12/28/18Jefferies
Harpoon Therapeutics (HARP)$86M12/27/18Citi
Gossamer Bio ( GOSS )$265M12/21/18BofA ML

Meanwhile, four Chinese companies have filed for US IPOs since mid-December , including a $300 million proposed offering from fast-growing online broker age Futu (FHL). The other three are micro-caps.

4 Recent IPO Filings from China-based Companies
Est. Deal
File DateLead
Powerbridge Technologies (PBTS)$15M01/04/19Maxim
Futu Holdings (FHL)$300M12/28/18Goldman
Fit Boxx Holdings (FBOX)$20M12/27/18WestPark Cap.
Jiayin Group (JFIN)$58M12/19/18Roth Cap.

Aside from those, a number of other filings from January and late 2018 could launch offerings when government agencies eventually re-open. Some of the largest include Blackstone's subprime auto lender Exeter Finance (XTF), LBO'd hospital operator Ardent Health (ARDT), Canadian casino operator Gateway Casinos (GTWY), gene-edited crop company Cibus (CBUS), Florida railway operator Virgin Trains USA (VTUS), and plant-based burger company Beyond Meat (BYND).

6 Other Recent IPO Filings
Est. Deal
File DateLead
Exeter Finance (XTF)$100M01/08/19Citi
Beyond Meat (BYND)$100M12/16/18Goldman
Ardent Health (ARDT)$400M12/04/18Barclays
Gateway Casinos (GTWY)$100M11/20/18Morgan Stanley
Cibus (CBUS)$100M11/16/18Morgan Stanley
Virgin Trains USA (VTUS)$100M11/16/18Barclays

The article These will be the first IPOs of 2019 originally appeared on IPO investment manager Renaissance Capital's web site renaissancecapital.com.

Investment Disclosure: The information and opinions expressed herein were prepared by Renaissance Capital's research analysts and do not constitute an offer to buy or sell any security. Renaissance Capital's Renaissance IPO ETF (symbol: IPO) , Renaissance International ETF (symbol: IPOS) , or separately managed institutional accounts may have investments in securities of companies mentioned.

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 Symbols: GOSS , ALEC , ANCN , PSTX , MITO

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