Best IPOs in Q2 2018

The second quarter of this year saw the most initial public offerings (IPOs) of any single quarter in the past three years. A total of 60 IPOs were completed and raised $13.1 billion in new capital, the highest total of any quarter during 2015, 2016 and 2017. The first quarter of 2018 saw 43 IPOs raise a total of $15.6 billion.

More than 70% of the second-quarter IPOs came from health care and tech companies, while foreign issues declined from 34% in the first quarter to just 15%. A flood of small biotech offerings lowered the median deal size from $143 million in the first quarter to $107 million.

The data were reported Friday by IPO ETF manager Renaissance Capital.

Between the offering date and Wednesday’s closing price, the tech sector (17 offerings) posted the highest average IPO return, a whopping 61%, well ahead of the 15% return on health care IPOs (25 offerings). Returns on six financial-sector IPOs averaged 31%.

Below is Renaissance Capital’s list of the second quarter’s 10 largest IPOs ranked by deal size. We’ve also included the stock’s first-day pop (or decline) and its return as of the most recent close. Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE: SPOT) is not included because its IPO was a direct offering that did not raise any new cash. Spotify shares popped nearly 13% on the April offering date, and the return to date is 27%.

  1. AXA Equitable Holdings Inc. (NYSE: EQH): $2.75 billion; first-day pop of 1.7%; return to date: 1.3%
  2. GreenSky LLC (NASDAQ: GSKY): $874 million: pop of 1.6%; return of −7.9%
  3. BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BJ): $638 million; pop and return of 29.4%
  4. DocuSign Inc. (NASDAQ: DOCU): $629 million; pop of 37.0%; return of 83.0%
  5. Pivotal Software Inc. (NYSE: PVTL): $555 million; pop of 5.0%; return of 71.0%
  6. GrafTech International Ltd. (NYSE: EAF): $525 million; decline of 3.7%; return of 23.0%
  7. BrightView Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BV): $469 million; decline of 2.7%; return of −2.7%
  8. Ceridian HCM Holding Inc. (NYSE: CDAY): $462 million; pop of 42.0%; return of 55.0%
  9. Essential Properties Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: EPRT): $455 million; decline of 2.6%; return of −3.6%
  10. PluralSight Inc. (NASDAQ: PS): $311 million; pop of 33.0%; return of 61.0%

Looking ahead to the third quarter, Renaissance Capital notes 65 companies currently in the IPO pipeline looking to raise $11 billion. Real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield is the both the largest potential IPO ($500 million) and the largest based on trailing 12-month sales ($7.23 billion). The pipeline is again heavy on health care offerings (11), industrials (five), financials (five) and, in a bit of a comeback, energy (four).

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