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Expect a Busy Week for IPOs

Notable offerings include: U.S. Silica, AVG Technologies and Greenway Medical Technologies


Last week saw some decent IPO action. The most notable deal was from Guidewire (NYSE:GWRE), which operates a cloud-based system for the insurance industry (here’s an interview I had with the company’s CEO). Priced at $13, the shares are now trading at $18.10.

But this week, the activity is likely to get much hotter. In fact, eight deals are expected to hit the markets.

Here are some of the standouts:

U.S. Silica Holdings, to trade with the ticker SLCA: The company produces a variety of sands for industrial and energy purposes. And yes, with the surge in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to extract natural gas from rocks, U.S. Silica has boomed.

Keep in mind that barriers to entry in the sand market are serious.  For example, the federal regulations are onerous.  What’s more, it’is not easy to get reserves. But U.S. Silica has 45 years’ worth.

Another advantage for the company is its extensive logistics network. Basically, it can cost-effectively deliver sand to all the major shale-gas basins.

For the first nine months of 2011, sales came to $212 million, up 14%, and profits were $20 million.

U.S. Silica plans to issue 11.8 million shares at range of $16 to $18. The lead underwriters include Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), BofA Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) and Jefferies & Co. (NYSE:JEF).

AVG Technologies, to trade with the ticker AVG: The company provides downloadable software, with a focus on security products. It pursues a “freemium” model — that is, most of its products are free, but users can convert to premium versions.

For the first nine months of 2011, revenues came to $198.1 million, and cash flows were a juicy $66.2 million. In fact, AVG has never raised any external equity financing.

But the IPO will be helpful. For one reason, a key strategy for AVG has been acquisitions, which has helped to add products like toolbars and social media offerings for Facebook, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) and Twitter.

AVG plans to issue 8 million shares at range of $16 to $18. The lead underwriters include Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS).

Greenway Medical Technologies, to trade with the ticker GWAY: The company develops information-technology systems for ambulatory health care providers. These include independent physician practices, multi-specialty group practices, retail clinics, employer clinics, university and academic health centers and community health centers.

So far, Greenway has over 33,000 medical provides on its platform, which covers more than 20 million patients. For the fiscal year ended June 30, revenues were $89.8 million, and operating income was $3.8 million.

Greenway expects to issue 6.7 million shares at a range of $11 to $13. The lead underwriters include JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and William Blair.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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