Last week I shared two IPOs that you should avoid, so let’s have a little fun and look ahead to a couple of companies with some nice potential that could be coming to market as early as 2014. The two companies I’ll be keeping an eye on are Univision and Eventbrite. Both have shown solid growth and don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Univision was taken private in 2006 by several buyout firms, but could be going public again in 2014. If it does, this is definitely a company I would consider buying into. It is a media powerhouse with a huge Miami presence, but is run out of New York. It’s the eponymous Spanish-language broadcast network that gets a bigger “primetime” viewing audience in the U.S. than do many of its English-language rivals. Univision also owns some of its content delivery systems, including several cable networks and Spanish radio stations. Management is also partnering with ABC to develop and launch an English-language network targeting younger viewers.
The company boasts more than nine million viewers daily. During this past summer it bested all English language networks for the coveted top spot for adult viewers under 50. That number of “captured eyeballs” is likely to grow by leaps and bounds, as the 2010 U.S. Census estimated that the Hispanic population, now at roughly one in six Americans three years ago, could grow to as much as one in three Americans by 2050.
That means plenty of Univision viewers over the next several decades, which translates into more advertising dollars and more profit. Recent results show strength in numbers, as Univision’s second-quarter earnings grew 28% this year to $40.7 million. The top line rose 10.4% to $676.5 million.
Eventbrite is the online ticketing company that caters to live events from sports to concerts. It charges event organizers a fee equal to 2.5% of a ticket’s price, and an additional 99 cents per ticket sold. However, free events garner no fees. Eventbrite also has an “At the Door” mobile app that processes will-call or same-day ticket sales.
The company has had huge success, reporting more than $1.5 billion in gross ticket sales (and more than 100 million tickets since its 2006 founding). While Eventbrite does compete with LiveNation, it is carving out a niche space by focusing on relatively smaller events, and also by using social media (like Facebook (FB)) to attract word of mouth.
Management raised $60 million in funding earlier this year, which gives the company some cash to support its continued international expansion and hire more staff. However, CEO Kevin Hurtz has made it clear that an IPO is “inevitable” even if the timing may be harder to gauge. But I believe that we could see Eventbrite come to market as early as 2014, and it is one I will continue to watch. Eventbrite is an interesting potential alternative to LiveNation, and could be a great way to play the intersection between young, Internet-savvy concert-goers (which is an attractive leisure-time demographic) and social media.
As we’ve talked about in this series, IPOs can be risky, so no matter how much you like a company, you should always check valuation once it goes public. And a lot can happen in the time a company is preparing to go public, so keep in mind that economic downturns can curb expansion.