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Marching more deeply into March, initial public offerings are keeping up the accelerated pace of recent times. Three notable new issues hoping to bring in over $50 million from their IPOs will make it to market this week. As with so many fresh flotations over the past year or so, one of the three is a pure-play biotech firm, while the second promises health care cost saving through its technology. The third is an oil and petroleum products transport firm; although that segment hasn't seen many new stocks coming to market of late, this firm is plugged directly into the energy sector, a stock market favorite at the moment.
We do have to caution, though, that IPO investing carries above-average risk. That's because initial stock prices can be far from the value the market eventually puts on the company's shares. Of course, this situation provides immense upside potential ... though it also presents the chance of losing a big chunk of an investment.
Moving on, let's take a look at this week's notable market debuts.
This clinical-stage biopharma's efforts are devoted to the development of state-of-the-art antibacterial substances to treat certain types of multi-drug resistant infections. It has high hopes for its pipeline drug, plazomicin, which it plans to bring to market via a new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration. Financially speaking, Achaogen was in the red in fiscal 2011 and 2012, and also reported a loss across the first nine months of last year. That trend might change, and dramatically so, if plazomicin comes to market before long and proves to be popular.
The company's stock is slated to start trading Wednesday on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AKAO. It is priced at $12 to $14 per share, and 5 million shares will be offered. The lead underwriters of the issue are Credit Suisse, and Cowen Group's (NASDAQ: COWN ) Cowen and Company.
Diamond S Shipping Group
For investors looking for a somewhat alternative way to play the energy sector, this company might be worth keeping an eye on. As its name implies, Diamond S Shipping Group is a firm that concentrates on the seaborne transport of oil and other petroleum by-products. According to the company, it is "one of the largest owners and operators of modern medium range ... product tankers in the world." Its fleet comprises 33 of those big vessels, and partly with the proceeds of its IPO it plans to buy ten more. In its last fiscal year, the company's predecessor firms collectively brought in a net profit of $11 million on revenue of $176 million.
Diamond S Shipping Group will hit the market on Wednesday, listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DSG. 14 million shares will be for sale, and the price has been set at $14 to $16 per share. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) Merrill Lynch and Leucadia's (NYSE: LUK ) Jefferies are the lead underwriters of the offering.
Do you prefer investing in health care, or in tech? With this company, no choice need be made. Castlight Health brings in the bulk of its revenue by offering subscriptions to what it describes as its "cloud-based software that enables enterprises to gain control over their rapidly escalating health costs." According to the firm's data, health care spending by American employers is expected to hit $620 billion this year, so there are plenty of costs to control. As to be expected for a young tech company, the firm is light on revenue and heavy on net losses at the moment. But its products are compelling, and the timing is good for those offerings.
Castlight Health is slated to debut on the market Friday, trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CSLT. 11.1 million shares of class B common stock are being sold at a range of $9 to $11 apiece. Investment banking war horses Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) are the lead underwriters.
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