A coming wave of IPOs

The weak economy has slowed the pace of public offerings, creating a large backlog.

By Kim Peterson Sep 8, 2010 4:25PM
Cash © image100/SuperStockThe corral of companies waiting to be turned loose on Wall Street is packed. About 160 companies are waiting to hit the market through initial public offerings, The New York Times reports.

That's the biggest IPO backlog since 2000, when anything with a dot-com in its name was going public. And this time, the companies hope to raise more than $56 billion -- a record amount.

"The question is whether the market can absorb it all," a principal at Renaissance Capital, the research firm that collected the data, told the Times. I'd say the answer to that is a big fat no.

Investors are turning their backs on stocks, and so far the IPO track record this year has been extremely spotty.

Tesla Motors (TSLA) debuted in July, raising $226 million at an IPO price of $17 a share. The stock is in the $20 range now -- not the jump that IPO investors were hoping for.

Univar last week joined a long list of companies that have withdrawn their IPO. And other companies, including NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), had to cut their offering to push it through, the Times reports.

So which companies are now waiting in the wings? Many are large, well-known names that were taken private from 2005 to 2007, the Times reports. They include Toys R Us and the consulting firm Booz Allen.

Hopes are high for a successful IPO for General Motors, still majority-owned by the government. "The outcome of GM’s offering stands as perhaps the biggest question looming over the IPO landscape," writes the Times' Peter Lattman. Analysts expect the IPO to raise $15 billion, becoming the second-largest offering in U.S. history.

Other companies that may come up for IPO include Freescale Semiconductor and Michaels Stores, the Times reports.

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