Jul 30, 2014, 10:49 am EDT
Last week I was at a conference on Sand Hill Road, which is in Menlo Park, Calif. The highway is nothing special, kind of rustic looking. But Sand Hill Road is the nerve center of venture capital in Silicon Valley. Some of the firms located there include Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Battery Ventures and Greylock Partners. It reminded me of the importance that venture capital firms have in the current business landscape.
To understand why venture capital is so important, let’s first take a brief look at its history. Interestingly enough, venture capital is a fairly young practice, with the roots going back to the early 1970s. At the time, several tech veterans like Tom Perkins and Don Valentine saw huge opportunities to provide funding for emerging startups. Read
Jul 29, 2014, 9:49 am EDT
Last week saw 10 IPOs hit the market with mixed results. While a handful did extremely well — such as El Pollo Loco (LOCO), which had a boffo first day — the overall performance was far from robust. In fact, seven companies had to price their IPOs below their proposed ranges.
But Wall Street isn’t slowing down — in fact, it’s adding more juice to the IPO machine. This week, we’ll see 22 new stocks hitting the market (including holdovers Atara Biotherapeutics, Mapi-Pharma and Spark Energy, which we talked about here).
Yet it seems like a good bet that the erosion will continue since plenty of the offerings are from small, experimental biotechs – which investors seem to be getting tired of. Read
Jul 25, 2014, 12:00 pm EDT
El Pollo Loco (LOCO), which operates a chain of more than 400 Tex-Mex fast food locations, made big news with a relatively small offering today.
The El Pollo Loco IPO shot out of the gate with 28% returns for LOCO stock after issuing 7.1 million shares at $15 each, pulled off a successful IPO today.
The company issued 7.1 million shares at $15 each — the high end of the projected $13-$15 range — and including overallotment, the El Pollo Loco is valued around $123 million. Read
Jul 21, 2014, 12:07 pm EDT
Last week, there were some red-hot IPOs. Just look at TubeMogul (TUBE), which was up 64% and Sage Therapeutics (SAGE), which spiked 67%.
Despite these success, there was actually underlying weakness in the IPO market. Many deals saw reductions in the pricing in order to gin up demand. Then again, there has been a flood of IPOs lately, which will continue this week, with 14 new stocks on deck. (Three of them are holdovers from last week: Medical Transcription Billing, Microlin Bio and Pfenex).
So let’s take a look at each: Read
Jul 18, 2014, 11:03 am EDT
The month of July, at least for me, has become a time for picking recent IPOs whose new stocks are down but not necessarily out. In July 2012 I picked five IPOs whose new stocks were underperforming as public companies. I repeated the exercise last July and now I’m going to do this same this year.
Before I jump in let me fill you in on how the 10 stocks have done since I selected them. Only one — Green Dot (GDOT) — has lost money; it’s down 27% in the two years since I recommended it through July 16. Otherwise, the remaining nine picks have delivered returns almost identical to the S&P 500.
While this might not seem like a big deal consider that all 10 picks were in negative territory when I recommended them. These new stocks had every possibility to continue falling — but didn’t. Instead, they turned around. Read
Jul 14, 2014, 12:35 pm EDT
Because of the 4th of July holiday, there were no IPOs last week. Yet this did not stop the momentum. For the upcoming week, there are 11 new stocks on deck.
The new stocks span a diverse set of industries like the cloud, biotech and energy. But with the market setting new highs and some analysts beginning to urge caution, will there be enough enthusiasm to propel these deals higher? We won’t know until the end of the week.
So let’s take a look at each of the deals: Read