2010 IPO Stock Picks – The Worst Public Offerings of the Last Year

Stock IPOs get a lot of hype on Wall Street, and initial public offerings are often surrounded with dreams of once-in-a-lifetime investments that make investors enough money for their retirement in a matter of weeks. Even though IPO participants are always insiders and those close to the company, individual investors often race to get into a new stock as soon as it goes public in the hopes of sharing in the success right out of the gate.

Unfortunately, the reality of 2010 IPOs and 2009 stock offerings is that not every stock succeeds. In fact, many IPO stories have far from a happy ending, with shareholders and company executives losing their shirts and watching their dreams of success shattered as the stock market sells off the newcomer and pushes it to the brink of failure.

To show you how stock IPOs can go wrong, here’s a look at some of the worst initial public offerings of the last year, the last six months and the last three months:

IPO Stock Picks With the Worst 12 Month Returns

After a year on the market, it’s safe to say that a stock IPO is a distant memory and that a company now has to succeed or fail on the merit of its business – not the hype. Unfortunately for Cumberland Pharmaceuticals (CPIX), the core business just didn’t cut it and investors sliced a whopping -60% off this stock from its initial offering in August of 2009. This gives CPIX the dubious distinction of being Wall Street’s worst-performing IPO in the last 12 months. Cumberland focuses on the acquisition and commercialization of branded prescription products for hospital acute care and gastroenterology, and just hasn’t found a good suite of drugs to shop around.

Related: Toys R Us IPO is set for later this year

Not far back in the #2 spot, however, is Shanda Games (GAME), the spinoff of Shanda Interactive Entertainment (SNDA) that took about 30 of the company’s most profitable online video games games and thought it could make a go alone. It couldn’t, watching its average revenue per paying user continue to slump as its stock spiral downward over -58% as of Tuesday’s close. If it’s any consolation, parent company SNDA is down about -33% in the past year so GAME hasn’t been alone in its steady march downwards.

Here’s a closer look at Shanda Games and Cumberland, along with the other worst performers of the last year that round out the worst IPOs over the last 12 months.

Company Symbol

Offer Date

Offer Price

6/8 Close

% Loss

Cumberland Pharmaceuticals CPIX 08/10/09 $17.00 $6.75 -60.3%
Shanda Games Ltd GAME 09/2409 $12.50 $5.17 -58.6%
China Hydroelectric Corp CHC 01/2510 $16.00 $7.50 -53.1%
Cobalt Intl Energy Inc CIE 12/1509 $13.50 $7.33 -45.7%
Omeros Corp OMER 10/0709 $10.00 $5.49 -45.1%

IPO Stock Picks With the Worst 6 Month Returns

Shortening the time frame to public offerings within the last six months, we see a few of the same companies on the list. Barring late December public offerings, these are all 2010 IPO stocks. However, despite the shorter time frame for losses the returns are almost as bad as the previous group.

Topping the worst IPO picks of the past six months is China Hydroelectric (CHC), which has managed to lose a stunning -53% since its early 2010 IPO. I guess owning 11 hydroelectric plants in a nation that refuses to curtail coal and oil use is probably not the wisest idea. The good news is that China Hydroelectric is turning a profit, but that’s little consolation to shareholders who banked big on this 2010 public offering.

In second place is Cobalt International Energy (CIE), losing -45% since its mid-December public offering. This 2009 IPO flopped, and the independent oil-focused exploration and production company has yet to turn a quarterly profit. Ouch.

Here’s the complete list of the five worst IPOs of the last six months, including some dismal 2010 IPO stocks.

Company Symbol

Offer Date

Offer Price

6/8 Close

% Loss

China Hydroelectric Corp CHC 12/25/10 $16.00 $7.50 -53.1%
Cobalt Intl Energy CIE 12/15/09 $13.50 $7.33 -45.7%
Concord Med Svcs CCM 12/11/09 $11.00 $6.19 -43.7%
Cellu Tissue Holdings CLU 01/21/10 $13.00 $8.01 -38.4%
Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solution KONE 05/14/10 $4.00 $2.66 -33.5%

IPO Stock Picks With the Worst 3 Month Returns

Who says you have to wait a few months to find out that your IPO investment went bust? This next list of stocks covers 2010 IPO stocks only, particularly those that hit the market in the last 3 months. As you’ll see, the front-runner Kingtone Wireless (KONE) actually made the previous list despite being less than a month old – tallying a brutal -33% decline in just a few weeks’ time!

The rest of the pack is only slightly older, but has suffered a similar fate. One could argue that the -31% decline by Global Geophysical (GGS) or the -30% lost by Metals USA (MUSA) had more to do with the market’s antics in May than any problems with the stock itself. But the previous lists show that it’s not uncommon for certain IPOs to drop in a hurry. And frankly, excuses aren’t going to make investors in these stocks feel any better if they bought in just after the public offering and then watched a third of their cash dry up.

Here’s a complete look at the worst IPO performers in the last three months:

Company Symbol

Offer Date

Offer Price

6/8 Close

% Loss

Kingtone Wirelessinfo Solution KONE 05/14/10 $4.00 $2.66 -33.5%
Global Geophysical Services GGS 04/22/10 $12.00 $8.20 -31.7%
Metals USA Holdings Corp MUSA 04/08/10 $21.00 $14.59 -30.5%
Alimera Sciences Inc ALIM 04/22/10 $11.00 $8.29 -24.6%
Codexis Inc CDXS 04/21/10 $13.00 $9.97 -23.3%


As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not own a position in any of the stocks mentioned here.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2010/06/worst-2010-ipo-public-offering-stock-picks-ipos/.

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