According to Hoover’s IPO Scorecard, 122 companies went public in 2012, up from the 116 that began trading in 2011. These 122 companies collectively raised $37.8 billion from investors, a 12% increase from the $33.4 billion that was raised in 2011.
Of course, without Facebook’s $16 billion IPO back in May, the year would have been dismal, ending with $21.8 billion. We haven’t seen numbers like Facebook’s $16 billion since Visa raised $17.8 billion in 2008 and GM raised $15.7 billion in 2010. It was definitely one of the largest IPOs in recent history, albeit not one of the best-performing. In fact, more than a month passed after the FB debut until another company tried its hand at the IPO market. FB’s IPO also boosted the average value for all of the other offerings to almost $310 million (without FB, their average value would have been about $180 million).
Technology companies tend to be the dominant industry in the IPO market in any given year, as their growth potential translates into value for investors. This year was no different, as 2012 saw IPOs from quite a few hardware, software, and Internet companies. There were about a dozen pharmaceutical companies that debuted this year as well. (A startup pharma’s stock can have huge payoffs if and when its product becomes FDA approved.) Energy concerns and real estate investment trusts (REITs) are also very popular investment vehicles. Quite a few food companies went public this year too, including Annie’s, grocers Roundy’s and Natural Grocers, Middle Eastern rice seller Amira, and a whopping four different restaurant chains.
This diverse group of industries was intentional, as IPO investors are looking to make a return on their investment and a diverse selection will usually yield more opportunity for success. Here’s a rundown of the best-returning IPOs of the year:
- Chinese e-tailer Vipshop opened in March at $6.50 a share and is still going strong at almost $18 a share for a 176% gain
- Proto Labs opened in February at $16 a share and is now trading at about $39 for a gain of 143%
- Intercept Pharmaceuticals opened in October at $15 and is now trading at about $34 for a gain of 126%
- Guidewire Software opened in January at $13 a share and is now trading at about $29 for a gain of 123%
- Nationstar Mortgage opened in March at $14 a share and is now trading at $30 for a 114% gain
- Eloqua opened in August at $11.50 a share and is now trading at $23.50 for a 104% gain
- Workday opened in October at $28 and is now trading at about $54 for a 92% gain
- Retailer Five Below opened at $17 and is now trading at about $32 for an 88% gain
- Food company Annie’s opened in March at $19 a share and is now trading at $33 for a 74% gain
- Realtor Realogy opened in October at $27 a share and is now trading at $41 a share for a 50% gain
Hoover’s analyzes the IPO market daily to produce its quarterly IPO Scorecard. Each IPO Scorecard includes an assortment of facts independently validated by Hoover’s editors, including best- and worst-performing IPOs, biggest one-day jumps and drops in the first day of trading, and a breakdown by industry sector.