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2013 has been a strong year for IPO performance so far.
About 40 deals have been priced through the second week of April, and 33 of the deals have moved higher in the secondary market with an average gain of more than 20%.
If you missed these profits, don't worry. There is no sign of any slowing in the IPO market, as there are currently nine deals already scheduled for the next two weeks. In fact, IPO dollar volumes for the year so far are nearing the $9 billion mark, on par with the levels seen in 2012.
Let's take a look at the biggest and best IPO performances so far in 2013.
IPO Performance 2013: A Review
First, let's do a sector roundup.
Finance companies represent the largest sector of initial offerings so far this year. Many of the 11 finance companies that have completed an offering are REITs or business development companies, but two banks have also come public as that industry begins to recover from the credit crisis.
Two homebuilders have also completed offerings and trade well in the aftermarket, enjoying improvement in the real estate and homebuilding markets.
Nine healthcare companies have come public this year in the aftermath of the passage of healthcare reform, which has given investors a better picture of industry fundamental prospects.
Technology is always a strong source of new companies and eight tech businesses have had IPOs in 2013.
Many of the year's biggest deals were offered up by private equity firms. Companies including Boise Cascade Co. (NYSE: BCC) and Pinnacle Foods Inc. (NYSE: PF) that were taken private by private equity firms in the past decade returned to the public market. This allowed their PE firms to at least partially cash out their holdings.
So far this year the PE backed deals have done well in aftermarket trading as equity markets have been generally strong. This is a trend most analysts expect to continue as companies like SeaWorld and Bausch and Lomb return to the public markets via a sale by private equity owners.
Now for the year's best performers...
The best performing IPO so far in 2013 is ExOne Co. (Nasdaq: XONE). The company had its IPO on Feb. 7 at $18 and the stock has risen to over $34 today and has been as high as $37.
The company manufactures 3D printers and related supplies. Most of ExOne's printing products are used for industrial purposes and can be used for molds and prototypes. It also produces a printer used in laboratories for research and experimentation.
The company is considered an early mover in what is anticipated to be a high-growth marketplace.
Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings (Nasdaq: NCHL) has delivered the second-best IPO performance of this year's crop. The company made its debut on Jan. 18 at $19 a share and is currently trading at close to $30 a share.
The company is seen as benefitting from the numerous mishaps that have hit Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) in recent months. People still want to take cruises, but not on Carnival, and that should push travelers in Norwegian's direction.
It is the smallest of the three large cruise ship operators with just an 11% market share, but is in a perfect position to increase that primarily at Carnival's expense.
On the downside, the worst performer has been Professional Diversity Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: IPDN). The company completed its initial offering on March 5 at $8 a share and has since tumbled more than 30%.
The offering has not been well received as traders are skeptical about the future of the company's job listing and networking Websites for specific ethnic and social groups.
KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: KBIO) is the second-worst performing IPO of the year so far. The offering was completed Jan. 30 at $8 a share and the price has declined 25% to just $6.
Preliminary results of its asthma drug were recently presented at a conference and are encouraging but investors so far are skeptical to say the least.
The rest of our April IPO calendar is heavy with deals, so the trend should continue for now. There are 20 companies that have filed for an initial public offering, but have not yet scheduled the sale so May should continue to be busy as well as long as the equity markets remain strong.
Check out who else is on the IPO Calendar 2013.