Expect a Busy Week for IPOs

Jan 30, 2012, 1:35 pm EDT
Expect a Busy Week for IPOs

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: Read 

Morgan Stanley: Master of the Social IPO Universe

Jan 30, 2012, 12:16 pm EDT
Morgan Stanley: Master of the Social IPO Universe

Facebook’s IPO is going to be a huge money-maker for both its employees and venture capital investors — but probably not for its lead investment bank, which likely will be Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).

According to a Reuters report, it looks like Morgan Stanley — or other front-runner Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) — will take a big cut in its typical fee structure. While fees usually run between 3% to 5% of total capital raised, Facebook’s IPO could run as low as 1%. Though 1% of a possible $10 billion raised still is a cool $100 million.

But the Facebook transaction is about more than just making a nice profit. Snagging the deal could cement an investment bank’s reputation in a red-hot category. Read 

Social Stock Tracker: Up 3% for the Week

Jan 30, 2012, 11:36 am EDT
Social Stock Tracker: Up 3% for the Week

It looked like last week would end up being fairly quiet for social stocks. But with the buzz of a Facebook IPO filing, Friday saw a rally. The weekly gain for the Social Stock Tracker came to 3%, bringing the total value of the basket of stocks to $33 billion. Keep in mind that a Facebook IPO is expected to fetch a market cap of $75 billion to $100 billion.

For the week, the top performer was Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA). The company launched Zynga Bingo (it’s in closed beta testing), which is part of its Casino destination. Perhaps this is just another part of the plan to capitalize on legalized online gambling? Read 

Largest IPO in History? Facebook Won’t Even Crack the Top 10

Jan 30, 2012, 7:00 am EDT
Largest IPO in History? Facebook Won’t Even Crack the Top 10

Ready for the largest IPO in history? Well, you’ll have to keep waiting. Because Facebook won’t be it.

Facebook will file documents for its initial public offering of stock as early as next week, if rumors are true. Reports indicate a Facebook IPO could raise $75 billion to $100 billion.

A report filed in The Wall Street Journal has the details. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is the top candidate for lead underwriter, a bit of a black eye for Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). The Facebook IPO valuation is fluid, but could push into 12 figures. And most importantly, the initial Facebook stock offering will garner about $10 billion in new funds for the social media company to grow. Read 

Facebook IPO Filing: Coming on Wednesday?

Jan 27, 2012, 2:29 pm EDT
Facebook IPO Filing: Coming on Wednesday?

According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook will file its S-1 with the Securities & Exchange Commission next week, perhaps on Wednesday. It looks like Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) will be the lead banker. In terms of Net deals, Morgan has been the go-to player. Some of its other transactions include Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN), Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD).

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is supposed to have a key role in the deal. But losing the lead to Morgan must be a huge disappointment for Goldman. Consider that it led the $1.5 billion private financing round for Facebook about a year ago.

The social network’s valuation is expected to range from $75 billion to $100 billion. Interestingly enough, this is down from the $100 billion+ that has been widely rumored. Perhaps Facebook’s financials aren’t as standout? Maybe Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) social network is becoming a problem? Read 

Verastem Shows Biotech Deals Have a Shot

Jan 27, 2012, 1:35 pm EDT
Verastem Shows Biotech Deals Have a Shot

For the past year, it’s been tough for biotech companies to get traction in the IPO market (there were a mere 10 deals in 2011). But today, Verastem (NASDAQ:VSTM) bucked the trend. The company issued 5.5 million shares at $10 each, which was in the middle of its $9-$11 price range. So far in today’s trading, the stock is up over 12%.

Verastem is the brainchild of some of the top oncology researchers in the world, include PhDs Robert Weinberg, Eric Lander and Piyush Gupta. Based on their breakout discoveries, they have developed VS-507, a molecule that kills cancer stem cells. This is a highly aggressive type of cancer that is resistant to conventional approaches.

Current treatments are far from ideal: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormones and so on.  So Verastem is working on next-generation approaches — and this means focusing on cancer stem cells. Read 

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