U.S. IPOs start scraping through despite market jitters

Snow begins to fall as morning commuters pass by the NYSE in New York
Snow begins to fall as morning commuters pass by the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

February 8, 2018

By Joshua Franklin

(Reuters) – At least four companies managed to price their initial public offerings (IPOs) in New York on Wednesday, defying this week’s stock market volatility which led to three other stock market flotations being postponed.

The S&P 500 and the Dow saw their sharpest drop in more than six years on Monday, and volatility has continued even as the indexes recovered some of their losses. This has made the steady investor demand typically required for an IPO scarce.

IPO pricings that had been scheduled for Wednesday in New York for Cactus Inc <WHD.N>, Evolus Inc <EOLS.O>, Victory Capital Holdings <VCTR.O> and Mudrick Capital <MUDSU.O> went ahead.

However, Victory Capital’s IPO was priced well below its $17 to $19 indicated price range, at $13 per share. Quintana Energy Services postponed its IPO on Wednesday, while Chinese wearable technology Huami <HMI.O> had yet to publicly give an update on its IPO as of late Friday.

“When the market has that kind of a swing, it has a negative effect on the IPO market,” said Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital, which manages IPO-focused exchange traded funds.

“The IPO market will probably not be closed, but it’s going to affect the deals that are on the calendar,” Smith added.

On Tuesday, Turkish fast-food chain operator TFI Tab Food Investments postponed its planned $220 million initial public offering in New York.

Argentine biotechnology firm Bioceres SA <BIOX.BA> this week extended by one day the offer period on its IPO in the U.S. market.

Last year saw an 84 percent pick-up in the proceeds raised from IPOs on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ after a weak 2016, according to consultancy E&Y.

The uptick continued last month with 20 new listings worth $9.95 billion, the biggest January haul on record, Thomson Reuters data showed.

However, U.S. security company ADT Inc <ADT.N>, owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC <APO.N>, last month priced its IPO well below its expected range.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Sunil Nair)