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After a very quiet end to February, several high-profile deals should make the initial public offering (IPO) calendar for March 2013.
The year has gotten off to a great start with strong market performance by newly public companies. Overall there have been 20 IPOs so far this year and 17 are currently trading higher than the offering price.
One of the biggest has been Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NCLH) with a blistering gain of more than 50% in just a few weeks.
March will see a slow but interesting start with just two deals coming to market in the first week of the month.
2013 IPO Calendar: Who to Watch
After Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) went public last year with disastrous results, the IPO calendar emptied for more than a month.
But thanks to a string of successes toward the end of 2012, the IPO market is heating up for 2013.
In fact, companies that went public after Facebook's May 18 IPO were up an average 31% through mid-December from their IPO price, with the S&P 500 only up 11% in that time.
As we start 2013, the overall pessimism that engulfed the IPO market since Facebook went public has disappeared.
"To me, it feels like a meaningful shift in the market," said Tom Murphy, a partner and head of the securities-capital and markets group at law firm McDermott Will & Emery. "With those companies [that had great IPOs], all in very different industries, getting out at the top of their ranges, and above, is a really strong signal."
The IPO Rebound
The IPO market started rebounding in October, specifically during the week of Oct. 8- Oct. 12, when nine companies went public, the most since the end of March.
"There was a big hiccup with Facebook, but in general, new issues in the market are doing well," Jonathan Crane, chairman of KeyBanc Capital Markets' equity-underwriting committee told The Wall Street Journal. "People are gravitating toward anything with growth, and in that respect, I think things have returned to normal."
The best performing of those October debuts was Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY), a provider of cloud-based applications used to organize human resources, accounting and other employee-related activities.
Workday went public Oct. 12 and opened at $48.05, 72% higher than its $28 offer price. It was the largest venture-backed IPO since Facebook went public in May, raising $637 million in cash. WDAY stock currently trades at $50.
Workday's IPO is part of a successful trend in cloud-based companies going public.
"For now, the megatrends in the IPO market include cloud-based computing - which includes companies such as Workday, Demandware Inc. (NYSE: DWRE), Splunk, ServiceNow Inc. (NYSE: NOW), Guidewire Software Inc. (NYSE: GWRE) and Palo Alto Networks - and high-end branded goods such as Michael Kors Holding Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) and Prada that appeal to consumers in emerging markets," says Sam Hamadeh, chief executive of Privco, a financial dataprovider.
Who to Put on Your 2013 IPO Calendar
Based on the performance of the above companies, there are plenty of reasons to be excited for next year's IPOs.
"The positive returns helped revive global IPO activity at the end of 2012 and should support stronger issuance in 2013 from the large $200 billion global IPO pipeline," according to Renaissance Capital's year-end IPO report.
Here are some IPOs in 2013 to keep an eye out for:
Is Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) Doomed Without Facebook?
Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA), creator of FarmVille and other popular social games, has lost its special relationship with Facebook.
Zynga and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) have had a symbiotic relationship since 2010 by which Zynga was the only provider of social game software that was allowed to promote its games to Facebook's one billion users. In return, Zynga used Facebook's credit system to process payments even on its own Zynga.com games platform.
The close relationship between the two companies had made Zynga the single largest contributor to Facebook revenues outside of advertising. For its part, Zynga is thought to have received about 80% of its revenue from Facebook users.
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Facebook Stock Rises Despite These 852 Million Reasons to Fall
It's difficult to think that an additional 852 million shares of Facebook stock hitting the market wouldn't weigh on the already struggling share price.
That's why, for the third time in nearly as many months, Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) on Wednesday braced for what could have been the largest selling spree yet to hit the social networking giant.
Scores of early investors and employees were at liberty to sell 778 million shares. Another 31 million in restricted stock, awarded to employees who joined the Menlo Park, CA-based company prior to 2011, were also unbound, along with 48 million shares held by former employees.
The staggering number is almost equal to Facebook's existing 921 million share float, according to data from the company's most current filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
But, a strange thing happened.
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How Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) is Sapping the U.S. Economy
Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) is a drain on the U.S. economy.
No, we're not talking about Facebook's IPO fiasco earlier this year and the subsequent stock price meltdown. It's bigger than that.
Facebook is worst offender among the many Internet distractions keeping workers from getting things done in the office.
Most workers stop what they are doing several times an hour to respond to messages from friends and co-workers on social media like Facebook and Twitter, browse the Internet, and check and respond to e-mail.
And once distracted, it takes time for a worker to get back to the task at hand - one study put the average disruption at 23 minutes.
All those interruptions add up to a massive expense for businesses and the U.S. economy.