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It's been an excellent year for the initial public offerings (IPO) market, with the number of companies going public more than 47% ahead of last year's pace.
The surge in IPO activity has already assured that 2013 will be the best year for new issues since 2007, just before the financial crisis pummeled the markets. That year had 213 IPOs; so far in 2013 there have been 168 IPOs, according to Renaissance Capital.
The dramatic increase in IPOs has the thriving stock market to thank. The S&P 500 Index is up 20.4% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 17.1%.
"The increase in IPOs is entirely explained by the rising stock market," Jay Ritter, professor of finance at the University of Florida, told USA Today.
The 2013 IPO market has been more than prolific; it's been incredibly profitable.
According to IPOScoop.com, more than 70% of the IPOs of 2013 are trading above their offer price. The 10 best IPOs of 2013, in fact, are all up at least 140% over their offer price.
There were a lot of big first-day gains, too.
Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. (Nasdaq: SFM), which went public Aug. 1, popped 122.8%.
Fast-casual sandwich chain Potbelly Corp. (Nasdaq: PBPB), which had its IPO Oct. 4, shot up 119%. And Noodles & Co. (Nasdaq: NDLS) soared 102% on its first day of trading June 28.
And those gains are sticking. Both Sprouts and Noodles are well above even their first-day closing price, while Potbelly is still up about 80% over its offer price.
They join a growing list of several prominent IPOs from the past couple of years that have done extremely well. For instance, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: KORS), which had its IPO in December 2011, is trading at over $73 – nearly quadruple its $20 offer price.
Given the unusually positive environment for IPOs this year, it's no surprise the 10 best IPOs of 2013 have done extremely well…
The 10 Best IPOs of 2013
To determine the 10 best IPOs of 2013, we simply looked at the year-to-date performance of each new offer of the year (rankings are based on Wednesday's closing prices). It's quite an impressive crop: