Here come the big IPOs
As some of the year's most notable deals make it on the calendar, the market may get fired up.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The IPO market could be set to sizzle the next few months as some big-name companies trying to capitalize on the bull market go public.
Mastercard, one of the year's most eagerly anticipated offerings, could encourage more companies to go public when it sells stock to the public in a few weeks. The credit card company expects to raise as much as $2.6 billion, which would make it the year's biggest deal.
"Larger deals tend to bring a lot of deals into the calendar because the IPO market gets a lot of attention and pulls companies that might have been on the fence into the market," said Ben Holmes, head of Morningnotes.com, an IPO research firm.
The stock market rally has been the main factor driving activity in the IPO market, according to Doug Lovett, an equity analyst with Morningstar. "Generally, IPOs have been performing pretty well, and I think the overall climate is pretty favorable," he said.
The Dow is closing in on its record high set in January 2000, which was right before the tech bubble burst, and the tech-fueled Nasdaq is near a five-year high.
Investors are also gearing up for some other big deals. In the last week, Burger King and Vonage -- two companies generating a bedlam of excitement in the market -- both detailed terms of their IPOs.
Burger King plans to raise as much as $425 million and is expected to go public within the next two weeks. Internet phone company Vonage is hoping to generate up to $560 million, but no date has been set for its IPO yet, according to Renaissance Capital's IPOhome.com.
Companies generally go public a few months after they set an estimated price range for their shares, but there's been a rush to the market lately.
"For companies that can go public, they're setting their terms and doing it quickly. Mastercard, Burger King and Vonage – they're all well-known, highly branded companies that institutions will buy," said Francis Gaskins, president of IPOdesktop.com, referring to big institutional investors.
The nation's IPO market has been humming along this year. So far, the number of deals is up about 14 percent from a year earlier while the value of the offerings has risen slightly, according to Renaissance Capital's IPOhome.com.
Stocks have charged ahead in the same period, helping prime conditions in the IPO market. The Dow Jones industrials average is up more than 6.4 percent this year and the broader S&P 500 index has jumped nearly 5 percent. The Nasdaq composite, meanwhile, has risen 5.4 percent.
High-profile deals are likely to generate a lot of hubbub, but investors are still watching the market on a deal-by-deal basis, according to IPOdesktop's Gaskins. "It's a healthy IPO market if you fit what the market is looking for," he said. "If you're large and have a brand name, you can do it."
But smaller companies are having a harder time going public, as Sarbanes-Oxley has raised the bar for the little guy as compliance costs have risen, Gaskins said, referring to the strict financial reporting requirements aimed at strengthening corporate governance.
Overall, it's the stock market that will set the climate for public offerings. "As long as the market does relatively well, companies will be able to raise money," Morningstar's Lovett said.
If not, the pace of IPOs could slacken.
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