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So while there have been many IPO busts, there also are some bargains out there.
Consider that 48 of the 76 companies that went public this year - 63% -- are trading at a price below their initial offer, according to data from Dealogic.
Indeed, many of the IPOs that had big pops on their first day have since fallen dramatically.
Epocrates Inc. (Nasdaq: EPOC), which rose 37% on its first day of trading, is now more than 38% below its IPO price. Demand Media Inc. (NYSE: DMD) shot up 33% in its debut in January, but is now 53% below its $17 IPO price.
Recent declines in the overall market have not only dinged IPOs from earlier this year - they've given pause to companies in the IPO pipeline.
A record 215 companies have withdrawn their IPOs so far this year. The previous record was set in 2008, when 214 companies withdrew their plans to list.
"Nobody wants to IPO into this fiasco of a market," Alec Levine, an equity derivatives strategist at Newedge Group told CNBC. "There's just massive liquidity risk. It would be great if you IPO'd the last 2 days, but awful if you IPO'd the previous 2 days-and so on."
Yet some companies, even several that had strong first days, have managed to stay in positive territory despite the rocky market conditions.
One of the most successful 2011 IPOs has been LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD), which soared 109% on its first day. LinkedIn closed Friday at $87.65 - close to double its $45 IPO price. Servicesource International Inc. (NYSE: SREV) popped 35% on its first day and remains an impressive 54% above its IPO price.
And as a group, 2011's IPOs have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index by about 6.5%, although the stronger companies have generally done far better.
So let's take a closer look at a few of the busts - and some companies that now look like smart buys -- from this year's IPO class: