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Another Cleantech Firm Jumps Into the IPO Mix

Nov 28, 2011, 12:11 pm EDT
Another Cleantech Firm Jumps Into the IPO Mix

As oil prices continue to remain at lofty levels, it’s getting tough for chemicals companies.  But several operators are finding alternatives by using plants and biomass.

And one of those companies, BioAmber, has recently filed to go public. Underwriters include Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, and the proposed ticker symbol is “BIOA.”

A three-year-old company, BioAmber relies on core technology that’s based on funded research from the Department of Energy that goes back to the late 1990s.  The company has an exclusive license to this intellectual property. Read 

IPO Performance Hits a Rough Patch

Nov 28, 2011, 11:44 am EDT

No IPOs hit the market — and this was probably a good thing.  With the global markets in disarray, it would have been extremely difficult to pull off an offering.

There are also no IPO’s on this week’s calendar.  But two are scheduled for the week of Dec. 5.  These include the following: Company Price Range Description HomeStreet $22-$24 Seattle-based community bank Peak Resorts $16-$18 Operator of 12 ski areas

Of course, the most anticipated IPO coming up continues to be Zynga.  While the buzz is that it will come within a few weeks, there has still been no filing that provides the price range on the deal. Read 

Avoid the Secondary Offering and Lock-Up Period Pitfalls

Nov 27, 2011, 8:00 am EDT
Avoid the Secondary Offering and Lock-Up Period Pitfalls

When a company goes public — especially in an emerging industry — it’s important to have a nice spike on the first day of trading.  In a sense, this is a show of strength as well as a media event.

Here’s a look at some of the notable first-day performers for 2011: Company Return LinkedIn 109.4% Zillow 78.9% Groupon 30% Angie’s List 25%

Part of these pops came from investors’ excitement to juice up their portfolios with growth plays.  But there has been another catalyst:  Wall Street underwriters have generally issued small amounts of shares.  In fact, for the companies in the table above, it was routine to float less than 10% of the outstanding shares. Read 

Groupon Crashes Through Its IPO Price

Nov 23, 2011, 11:02 am EDT

After spiking 30% on Groupon‘s (NASDAQ:GRPN) IPO debut in early November, GRPN shares had been fairly quiet, with the stock remaining in a tight range of $24 to $25.

Things changed for the worse this week. The stock had broken through its $20 IPO price and was trading under $18 as of midday Wednesday, meaning some painful losses for investors who jumped into the stock right after the opening.

No doubt, the horrible performance of the equities markets in general has been a key factor. Still, there are lingering doubts about Groupon’s business model itself, the flaws of which the media keeps bringing to light. Consider a recent story from NBC: A London baker nearly went bust because a Groupon offer resulted in the business having to make 102,000 cupcakes — at a 75% discount! The store lost nearly $20,000 on the “deal.” Read 

Pandora: Investors Don’t Hear the Music

Nov 23, 2011, 10:40 am EDT
Pandora: Investors Don’t Hear the Music

Even though Pandora (NYSE:P) is a next-generation online music operator — with a focus on the radio market — its post-IPO stock performance has been lousy. Since mid-June, the shares are off 43%. Then again, investors have been skeptical about whether Pandora can generate a profit. Doesn’t the company have to pay substantial amounts to license its content?

Perhaps so. But in the latest quarter, Pandora was able to produce net income of $638,000 (break-even on an earnings-per-share basis). This compares to a loss of $1 million, or 15 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

What’s more, Pandora continued to grow at a torrid rate. Revenues nearly doubled to $75 million, which handily beat the Wall Street consensus of $71 million. Breaking things down, advertising revenues soared 102% to $66 million, and subscription revenues increased by 80% to $9 million. Read 

Asset Manager’s IPO Struggles Out of the Gate

Nov 22, 2011, 12:06 pm EDT

Shares of asset manager Manning & Napier (NYSE:MN) went public last Friday, pricing at $12 each. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an easy deal to pull off, as the expected range on the transaction was $15-$17 a share. What’s more, the stock was unchanged on its debut.

Despite all this, Manning & Napier is a solid company. Founded in 1970, the firm is now a broad-based provider of managed accounts, mutual funds and collective investment trust funds. It’s also a leader in “life cycle” funds, which have become quite popular for retirement planning.

The company takes a team-based approach to investment management, which is meant to achieve absolute returns (with an emphasis on value plays), meaning a portfolio should be positive in any environment. In light of the market volatility and global uncertainty, this approach has certainly been attractive to clients. Read 

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