The 17 Most Important IPOs To Watch In 2012

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4.  Facebook is going to be the king of all IPOs of 2012. The double-question is when exactly will it go public and at what price? Facebook is a monster in social networking that has changed the world and the ways of communication. The company is supposedly going to release its financials in the second quarter to comply with regulatory standards over its number of shareholders. With Mark Zuckerberg aiming for a $100 billion valuation at the offering, Facebook could literally be valued at more than all of the top and important IPOs of 2012 combined. It was just over a year ago that many thought that $30 billion and $40 billion valuation was too high and the many private sales have since commanded a much higher valuation. The underwriting firms and the exchange it will list on are yet unknown, as is the share structure. Will it follow the LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD) share structure?  Facebook’s estimated $100 billion valuation is expected to come with a $10 billion stock sale. Alexa still ranks Google first in traffic measurement of all global websites, but Facebook is coming on strong in many online measuring metrics.

5.  Glam Media is an online media and advertising network focused on targeting the female market. The company made the news late last year after reportedly speaking to investment banking firms like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and BofA about going public, but the filing is not expected before mid-2012. Glam claims to have about 1,000 brand advertisers and sales of over $100 million. It acquired Ning as a custom social site design tool for somewhere in the $150 million area. Whether this will be a normal IPO with a single-class or a dual-class structure is not known and that depends largely on the performance of other recent media and social networking IPOs.

6.  Gogo Inc., which filed right before Christmas of 2011, provides the in-flight connectivity, entertainment, as well as Internet for several large airlines, including Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Virgin America, and US Airways. The filing was for up to $100 million, and the stock is set to trade under the ticker GOGO. Investors will have to hope that the performance of Boingo Wireless, Inc. (NASDAQ: WIFI) does not hurt Gogo’s IPO value. As of September 30, 2011, Gogo had equipped 1,177 commercial aircraft. Consolidated sales in the first nine months of 2011 grew 89% to $113.8 million. Lead underwriters included Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and UBS. Major holders are Ripplewood Holdings, Oakleigh Thorne, and AC Partners.

7.  GrowOp Technology Ltd. has been an IPO-hopeful for quite some time. The company is the technology provider to much of the medical marijuana growing industry. So far, GrowOp has raised capital through Form D filings. We interviewed founder Derek Peterson in 2011 when an IPO was on track to occur. But the field of supplying growing lab equipment for the use of medical marijuana has undergone quite a bit of change in the last year, causing the company to put the 2011 IPO on hold. With some other companies having in the field having conducted reverse mergers or hoping to raise capital, GrowOp will be a company to watch.

Read Also: Best Big Biotech Stock Picks For 2012

8.  Kayak Software has had many amended filings for its IPO of up to $50 million in common stock. It will have one of the dual-class structures and trade as KYAK on NASDAQ. Deutsche Bank is counted in the underwriting group. Kayak.com was started in 2004 by the co-founders of Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. It instantly compares hundreds of travel websites in one search. With so many users online looking for travel deals, and with a popular and straight forward business model, Kayak is going to be watched closely. While the acquisition of IATA by Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) may be a challenge for Kayak, past strength of Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) and other online travel sites is likely to keep investors’ interest high.

9.  Living Social has not yet filed for a public offering but is one of the long-standing IPO candidates. It competes directly with Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) and claims to be the fastest growing ongoing deals sites out there. The company’s financials are not public and revenue figures vary from source to source. Living Social has over 34 million U.S. members and over 46 million users globally, 603 daily deal markets worldwide in 25 countries, over 22 million vouchers bought by members worldwide, and more than 3,900 employees located throughout each market served. It has reportedly been trying to raise up to $400 million in December, with a projected market value of $6 billion at the time.

10.  Platinum Energy Solutions, Inc. is not the largest of the pending oil and gas IPOs of 2012, but itis still relatively new and is focused on the controversial hydraulic fracturing sector in the domestic shale regions in America. The Houston-based outfit filed for an IPO of up to $300 million in common stock under the FRAC ticker on the NYSE at the very end of the third quarter in 2011, with Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan set to lead the offering. Platinum’s customers are Petrohawk in the Eagle Ford Shale, a major independent operator in Altamont Field in Utah, and Encana Corporation (NYSE: ECA) in the Haynesville Shale. With fracking so controversial and with most operations being so new, investors (and competitors) will be paying close attention to this IPO.