IPO Market Has Nowhere to Go but Up

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There were no successful initial public offerings (IPOs) last week and there are no new ones scheduled for the week ahead. The slow pace of IPOs this year was magnified by the Labor Day holiday for both weeks, and investors can only hope that the IPO market will pick up going forward.

As we noted in an earlier story, there are 100 companies that have filed to raise a total of $24 billion. Not all will happen this year, of course, and some will never happen, but it is an encouraging sign given that proceeds raised so far this year total less than $10 billion.

Through the week ending August 26, IPO ETF manager Renaissance Capital reported that 59 IPOs have priced in the U.S. so far this year, down 55% from a year ago and unchanged from last week. Total proceeds raised through last week equaled $9.8 billion, down more than 56% compared with the same period in 2015. Of the 59 IPOs that have gone off this year, 30 have come from the healthcare sector. Last year’s IPO total came in at $30 billion on 170 offerings. Renaissance Capital does not include “best efforts” or blank-check companies in its totals, nor does it include IPOs that raise less than $10 million.

There are still a couple of “maybes” on the calendar, companies that have failed so far to launch into the public markets but that have also not withdrawn their IPO filings.

Continuing to be listed as day-to day is Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing therapeutic agents to treat and prevent certain pre-cancerous conditions, orphan diseases, and gastrointestinal conditions. The company downsized it offering from 1.9 million shares to 1.25 million in an expected price range of $12 to $14 to raise $16.3 million at an implied market cap of $87.9 million. Sole bookrunner for the offering is Aegis Capital Corp. Shares are expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CPP.

Last week’s sole IPO prospect may be willing to try for the third time in the coming week. AzurRx Biopharma Inc. is developing non-systemic biologics for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. The company plans to offer 2.1 million shares in an expected price range of $6 to $8 to raise $15 million at an implied market cap of around $76 million. Joint bookrunners for the offering are WallachBeth Capital and Network 1 Financial Securities. The IPO is listed as “TBA” and is expected to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AZRX if and when the public offering is made..

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