The new top dog among the IPO universe we follow for 2008 is now IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: IPCM). Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) had been in that position with the highest gain from its IPO pricing, although today’s drop took care of that. That is also misleading in that the Visa IPO priced at $44.00 and actually opened up around $60.00 and the lows have only been $55.00. IPC The Hospitalist is now up roughly 68% from the $16.00 IPO inJanuary. If you consider that it has actually traded at $16.25 after asubstantial premium give-back in March when shares fell from north of$20.00.
We would like to note that 3 of the 4 analysts that cover this stockstill have Buy or Outperform ratings, with the mid-May downgrade fromWachovia on valuation being the exception. That being said, theaverage price target is roughly $27.00 and on last look the highesttarget was $28.00. Shares sit today up almost 4% at $26.80. If thisholds today, that will mark a high close for this operator and managerof physician groups. We would caution that if this performance continues then analysts will have to either raise their targets or make the “valuation achieved” calls, but that is for you to decide.
We would note, as we have noted before, that Titan Machinery Inc. (NASDAQ: TITN) would still fit this bill technically (as it did before)since its January 2008 IPO as shares are still up about 100%, but thisstock is down roughly one-third since its highs in June during theagriculture and machinery hype and highs.
Jon C. Ogg
September 3, 2008