El Pollo Loco Stock Looks Tasty After Selloff

Jan 6, 2015, 12:36 pm EST

Shares in El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (LOCO) have offered a crazy — and lately miserable — ride since going public last summer, but some some Wall Street upgrades offer hope for upside, even as LOCO stock remains as risky as ever.

El Pollo Loco recently fell below its July initial public offering closing price of $24 a share, something that was unthinkable just a couple of months ago. But, hey, in hindsight, LOCO stock blasted off with such force after its IPO, it was begging for some kind of fall.

Shares in the regional restaurant chain priced at $15 and opened at $19. Within a couple of weeks, LOCO was hitting levels above $40. Read 

Snapchat: Is it an IPO or Buyout?

Jan 2, 2015, 11:52 am EST
Snapchat: Is it an IPO or Buyout?

Snapchat, which is a popular messaging app (the photos disappear within seconds of receipt), has raised $485.6 million from 23 investors (the names were not disclosed). The deal comes among a flurry of other large financings at the end of 2014, such as for Uber and Xiaomi.

But in the case of Snapchat, might the next step be an IPO or a buyout? Actually, both look like fairly good options for the new year.

First, let’s take a look at a Snapchat IPO. It’s true that – since the tech bubble burst in 2000 — the market for public offerings has changed significantly. For the most part, a company needs a solid record of growing revenues, usually more than $100 million. Read 

Get Ready to Chomp on the Shake Shack IPO

Dec 30, 2014, 2:07 pm EST
Get Ready to Chomp on the Shake Shack IPO

Last week, I wrote a post for the IPO Playbook about my predictions for next year’s upcoming IPOs. One of my picks was Shake Shack, and before we even hit 2015, we’ve already got an IPO filing.

All in all, The Shake Shack IPO should be one of 2015’s hot deals.

First let’s take a look at the company’s background: Shake Shack is the brainchild of renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer (some of his creations include Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern, Maialino and Marta). Read 

5 Best New Stocks of 2014

Dec 30, 2014, 12:30 pm EST
5 Best New Stocks of 2014

It was a banner year for new stocks. In all, 268 companies came public and the average return was about 21%. This compares to a 13% gain in the S&P 500 and a 15% gain in the Nasdaq Composite.

Of all the new stocks that hit the market, there were 24 that posted gains of more than 100%. Interestingly enough, only five of these were tech operators. Biotech was particularly strong — 18 deals in that sector returned more than 100%, more than in any other sector.

No doubt, the market for new stocks was far from perfect. Consider that 18 offerings lost more than half their value. As for the worst deal, it was Amedica (AMDA). The company lost 87% for the year. Read 

More of the Best IPOs for 2015

Dec 23, 2014, 2:51 pm EST
More of the Best IPOs for 2015

Last week, InvestorPlace’s John Divine wrote up a post on next year’s expected hot IPOs. He provided excellent coverage on companies like Airbnb, Spotify, Xiaomi, Box and Uber. And if these companies do pull off their IPOs, it will mean a flood of newly minted large-cap stocks.

But what about the smaller deals? They might not get all the attention that other IPOs do, but there’s no shortage of smaller-name IPOs that could do well. The fact is that the market is fairly healthy right now and investors are warming up to riskier offerings.

For example, Hortonworks (HDP) and New Relic (NEWR) launched successful IPOs last week even though both companies have less than $100 million in annual revenues and continue to post substantial losses. Read 

BABA: Should I Buy Alibaba Stock? 3 Pros, 3 Cons

Dec 22, 2014, 11:29 am EST
BABA: Should I Buy Alibaba Stock? 3 Pros, 3 Cons

It’s been a nice run for shareholders in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA). Since launching is $22 billion IPO in September, the shares have posted a sizzling return of 60% to $109. This puts the valuation at $271 billion, which is above the valuations of Amazon.com, Inc (AMZN) and eBay Inc (EBAY) — combined.

Consider that some of the world’s best investors have taken big positions in Alibaba stock. They include Third Point’s Dan Loeb, the Soros Fund’s George Soros, Tiger Management’s Julian Robertson and Appaloosa Management’s David Tepper.

So should you join them?  Well, to see, let’s go over the pros and cons: Read 

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