April 2015 IPO Market Review

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May 5, 2015

The pace of the IPO market moderated in the first two weeks of April before gaining momentum to end the month with 14 IPOs—the highest monthly tally since the 21 IPOs in November 2014, although short of the monthly average of 20 IPOs that prevailed in 2014.

The first four months of 2015 have produced a total of 42 IPOs, down from 84 in the first four months of 2014.

Life sciences companies accounted for half of the month's total, bringing the number of life sciences company IPOs over the first four months of 2015 to 22.

Gross proceeds in April were $1.91 billion. Total gross proceeds for the first four months of 2015 equal $5.47 billion, less than one-third of the $16.67 billion in gross proceeds raised over the first four months of 2014.

All but a trio of the year's IPOs have come from emerging growth companies. EGCs represent 93% of the year's IPOs compared to 85% of all IPOs in 2014.

The first four months of 2015 produced 25 IPOs by VC-backed companies—60% of the total, up from 55% for full-year 2014. Private equity–backed companies have accounted for only seven IPOs over the first four months of 2015, representing 17% of the total, compared to 22% of all IPOs in 2014.

The first four months of 2014 produced three billion-dollar IPOs with another four raising more than $500 million. The first four months of 2015 have seen only a single IPO over $500 million.

The median offering size for IPOs in the first four months of 2015 was $77.5 million, a decline of 19% from the full-year 2014 figure of $96.0 million (and 23% below the $101.0 million median figure that prevailed over the five-year period preceding 2015). The year-to-date median IPO offering size represents the lowest annual figure since the $61.6 million median IPO offering size in 2000.

The median annual revenue for IPO companies fell by 53% from $68.2 million in 2014 to $32.0 million in the first four months of 2015—the lowest annual figure since the $17.6 million median in 2000.

The percentage of profitable IPO companies declined from 36% in full-year 2014 to 26% over the first four months of 2015. Only a single life sciences company IPO this year has been profitable and that company was greeted with the best first-day gain of the year.

The average IPO in the first four months of 2015 produced a first-day gain of 17%, the second highest annual figure since 2000, behind only the 21% average first-day gain in 2013.

Without the three "moonshots" over the first four months of 2014 (IPOs that double in price on their opening day), however, the average 2015 first-day gain would be only 9%. Setting aside the two moonshots by life sciences companies over the first four months of 2015, life sciences companies have produced an average first-day gain of just 1% this year.

While the first quarter of 2015 saw 32% of IPOs "broken" (IPOs whose stock closes below the offering price on their first day), only a single IPO was broken in April, bringing the percentage of broken IPOs over the first four months of 2015 down to 24%, below the 27% of IPOs that were broken for full-year 2014.

The average 2015 IPO has outperformed both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite Index, but all of the gain has been attributable to first-day performance. The average 2015 IPO declined from its first-day closing price to end April 14% above its offering price.

At April month-end, 38% of all 2015 IPOs were trading below their offering price—equal to the percentage for all IPOs in 2014.

IPO activity in April consisted of offerings by the following companies listed in the order they came to market:

  • Kornit Digital, which develops, designs and markets innovative digital printing solutions for the global printed textile industry, priced below the range and ended its first day of trading with a gain of 40%.
  • Carbylan Therapeutics, a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel and proprietary combination therapies that address significant unmet medical needs, priced an IPO upsized by 8% at the expected price and produced a first-day gain of 11%.
  • Wowo, an operator of one of China's leading third-party e-commerce platforms, focusing on local entertainment and lifestyle services such as restaurants, movie theaters and beauty salons, priced at the midpoint of the range and gained 3% in first-day trading.
  • Aduro Biotech, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the development of first-in-class technology platforms designed to stimulate robust and durable immune responses against cancer, priced an upsized IPO above its original range and ended its first day of trading up 147% from its offering price.
  • Cidara Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel anti-infectives for the treatment of diseases that are inadequately addressed by current standard of care therapies, priced an IPO upsized by 20% at the high end of the range and ended its first day of trading flat.
  • XBiotech, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in discovering and developing monoclonal antibodies for treating a variety of diseases, priced at the midpoint of the range and produced a first-day gain of 22%.
  • Etsy, an operator of a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods, priced at the high end of the range and ended its first trading day with a gain of 88%.
  • KemPharm, a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of proprietary prodrugs that the company believes will be improved versions of widely prescribed, approved drugs, priced an IPO upsized by 27% below the range and gained 2% in first-day trading.
  • Party City Holdco, the leading party goods retailer by revenue in North America, priced at the high end of the range and produced a 22% first-day gain.
  • Virtu Financial, a leading technology-enabled market maker and liquidity provider to the global financial markets, priced at the high end of the range and gained 17% on its first trading day.
  • Apigee, a provider of an innovative software platform that allows businesses to design, deploy and scale APIs as a connection layer between their core IT systems and data and the applications with which their customers, partners, employees and other users engage with their business, priced at the midpoint of the range and declined 2% in first-day trading.
  • Enviva Partners, the world's largest supplier by production capacity of utility-grade wood pellets to major power generators, priced the midpoint of the range and produced a first-day gain of 8%.
  • Viking Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, first-in-class or best-in-class therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders, priced an IPO upsized by 20% at the midpoint of the range and ended its first day of trading 12% above its offering price.
  • Blueprint Medicines, a biopharmaceutical company focused on improving the lives of patients with genomically defined diseases driven by abnormal kinase activation, priced an IPO upsized by 13% above the range and gained 5% in first-day trading.
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