Successful IPOs defy market weakness
Despite Dave & Buster's nixing its public offering, 3 more companies look to start trading this week.
By Ken Shreve
Restaurant chain Dave & Buster's postponed its initial public offering last Friday because of recent choppiness in the IPO market. Among other things, CEO Steve King said, "Current market conditions aren't optimal for an IPO at this time."
He's got a point, actually. Institutional selling has been making its presence felt in the NYSE indexes for a few weeks now. Through Friday, the S&P 500 and NYSE Composite showed five higher-volume declines since Sept. 5. The selling hasn't been as pronounced as on the Nasdaq Composite. Despite the yellow flags, the market remains in a confirmed uptrend and most leading growth stocks, including several new issues, are holding up just fine.
Note that two restaurant stocks recently enjoyed positive debuts: Bloomin' Brands (BLMN) and Chuy's (CHUY). Bloomin' Brands operates the Outback Steakhouse chain. It debuted in early August at $11 and continues to hold above its offering price. Shares closed Friday at $15.38. Meanwhile, Chuy's performance since its late-July debut has been impressive, to say the least. Shares closed Friday at $27.59, more than double the offering price of $13. At the end of August, the company operated 37 Mexican restaurants in Texas and the southeastern U.S.
The IPO market is always worth paying attention to, because stocks tend to make their biggest moves in the early stages after their companies go public. But don't target the super-speculative new issues that aren't making money. Focus on the new issues that are making money with good growth prospects.
Another name to watch is cloud play Guidewire Software (GWRE). It serves a niche market, providing Web-based policy management, underwriting, claims management and billing software to the insurance industry. It's been a solid performer since its January debut at $13. What's most compelling about Guidewire is that it's setting up in a bullish, first-stage IPO base. The broad market looks a bit weak, but Guidewire's current setup has been known to yield bullish breakouts.
Here's a look at some IPOs scheduled to start trading this week:
Workday provides human capital management software as a service via the Internet, or "cloud." David Duffield is the co-founder and CEO of the company. He was the co-founder and former chairman of PeopleSoft. The California-based company plans to raise $512 million by offering 22.8 million shares at a price range of $21 to $24. It will trade under the ticker symbol WDAY.
Shutterstock provides an online marketplace where people can shop for photos. Photographers are paid by the download. Based in New York City, the company plans to raise $63 million by offering 4.5 million shares at a price range of $13 to $15. It will trade under the ticker symbol SSTK.
Amira Nature Foods, a distributor of packaged Indian Basmati rice and snacks, plans to raise $126 million by offering 9 million shares at a price range of $13 to $15. It will trade under the ticker symbol ANFI.
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All hail the bull market, which ended the week with a big rally. But it also is starting to look a little like 1987, which suffered an epic blow-out.
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