January IPOs raise $9 billion in record-breaking start to 2018

The IPO market had the biggest January on our records (25+ years) by IPO proceeds and deal count . The month's 18 IPOs raised $9.2 billion, or 4.5x more proceeds than the average January over the past decade.

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January is typically a slow month, raising 50% less proceeds than the year's average. Not this year: January 2018 raised more capital than any month since September 2014, when Alibaba went public.

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A receptive IPO market

Broadly speaking, the market is ripe for new issuance. Volatility is still low, markets are near all-time highs, and recent IPOs have performed well. As we noted in our Annual Review , companies pushed back IPOs in 2017, creating the current build-up in supply.

Three IPOs raise nearly $5 billion

Several large issuers came public in January, including three billion-dollar IPOs ( PagSeguro , ADT , VICI Properties ). An SEC rule change in mid-2017 allowed large companies to silently prepare their IPOs in the 2H17, process the new tax bill in December, and pursue offerings with greater flexibility this past month.

Emerging themes: Biotech, energy, REITs, LatAm, LBOs

Biotechs were well-received - particularly Menlo Therapeutics (MNLO,), ARMO BioSciences ( ARMO ) and Solid Biosciences ( SLDB ) - likely helped by heavy insider buying and a series of high-profile acquisitions in the space (e.g. JUNO, ABLX). A number of energy services IPOs launched (LBRT, NINE), with rising energy prices promising a pick-up in E&P capex. Three large REITs priced this month (COLD, VICI, ILPT), potentially getting out ahead of future rate hikes. Two South American companies went public in the US ( PAGS ) and CAAP), with several more Argentine deals in the pipeline. Four of the month's offerings were LBOs (COLD, GTES, ADT, AGS), which may benefit from reducing debt burdens under the new tax law.

January IPOs average a 28% gain

The average IPO popped 22% on day one, and finished the month with a 28% return. Of the 13 that traded, 10 (77%) finished above issue. The month's top three IPOs were biotechs, including top performer Menlo Therapeutics (+117% from IPO at 1/31). Liberty Oilfield Services ( LBRT ) had the best first-day pop for an energy IPO since 2014. PagSeguro had one of the best first-day pops for a billion-dollar IPO in the past decade ( #5 of 46 ), while ADT had one of the worst (#44 of 46).

SPAC surge continues: Five deals raise $1 billion

Five blank check companies raised $1.0 billion in January. That continues the 2017 surge in SPAC activity, where 32 deals raised $8.7 billion, the most since 2007.

Tech is next

Technology IPOs have stayed on the sidelines so far, but that should change in February and March as companies finalize their 2017 full-year numbers. Our 2018 Outlook highlights the most likely names from our Private Company Watchlist - only available for clients of our institutional research portal, IPO Intelligence .

The article January IPOs raise $9 billion in record-breaking start to 2018 originally appeared on IPO investment manager Renaissance Capital's web site

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, the Renaissance IPO ETF (symbol: IPO) or the Global IPO Fund (symbol: IPOSX) , 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.

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

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