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Top IPO Stories of the First Quarter

No. 1 no doubt is Facebook finally filing for an IPO. The others . . .


For 2012’s first quarter, the IPO market has been red-hot. Just yesterday, Annie’s (NYSE:BNNY) public offering soared by nearly 90%. Clearly, it wasn’t alone in making big IPO news during the period. So, what were some of the top IPO stories for the quarter? Let’s take a look:

Facebook Finally Files

The Facebook filing is definitely the biggest story for the quarter. The buzz is that the company will raise over $10 billion and will come public some time in May.

But there have already been some hiccups. A few weeks ago, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) filed a patent infringement suit against Facebook. The Internet portal alleged violations on 10 patents, which cover areas like personalized advertising, messaging and social networking.

It’s unclear what the impact will be. But in Facebook’s latest S-1 filing, it stated: “If an unfavorable outcome were to occur in this litigation, the impact could be material to our business, financial condition or results of operations.”

However, it seems likely that the outcome will be some type of financial settlement. Keep in mind that this is what Yahoo got when it sued Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) before the search giant’s IPO in 2004.

Then again, Facebook could be gearing for a fight. There’s a rumor that the company recently purchased 750 patents from IBM (NYSE:IBM).

Another issue for the Facebook IPO is actually the company’s 27-year-old co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. He missed the first meeting with analysts and investment bankers. Instead, he wants to focus on product development and coding.

But investors shouldn’t be surprised. In the Facebook S-1, Zuckerberg wrote a shareholder letter that had this gem: “We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”

BATS Makes IPO History

Until last week, BATS was a relatively unknown company, even though it was the No. 3 stock exchange operator in the U.S. But with its attempted IPO, it quickly made lots of headlines — that is, horrible ones.

BATS used its own computer system to go public and it quickly malfunctioned, even resulting in a (temporary) 9% drop in Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares. The irony is that BATS has often bragged about its technology prowess. Yet pulling off IPOs is no easy feat.

BATS CEO Joe Ratterman will stay at the exchange’s helm, but did give up his role as chairman. The company may also suspend all bonuses for the year.

On the day of the BATS IPO fiasco, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Securities & Exchange Commission was investigating high-frequency trading, and one of its targets was BATS. So with the flash-crash of its own IPO, the SEC will have certainly have some interesting questions.

Cloud Thunder

The “cloud” is a fast-growing part of the technology landscape. It involves centralizing business applications in off-site data centers run by big third-party technology providers, which means lower costs for services and equipment. It also makes allows for easier updates to the software.

For the first quarter, investors have shown a big appetite for cloud-computing IPOs. A major boost has come from the aggressive multibillion dollar acquisitions from mega-players like Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and SAP (NYSE:SAP).

Here’s a list of the top cloud IPOs for the quarter:

ExactTarget NYSE:ET 44%
Demandware NYSE:DWER 74%
Bazaarvoice NASDAQ:BV 64%
Brightcove NASDAQ:BCOV 103%
Guidewire Software NYSE:GWRE 169%

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 “The Complete M&A Handbook”“All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli or reach him via email. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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