Investors could be forgiven for thinking that the IPO market has fallen into a ditch and can't get out. Last week saw a grand total of zero new issues, while in the coming five days only a single new stock, Arista Networks, is scheduled to hit the exchange.
Is the IPO market stuck? Probably not. After all, over the past few years the pre- and post-Memorial Day period has been a traditional time for IPO players to take a break. And this year is a good one for them to rest a bit; according to IPO specialist Renaissance Capital, thus far in 2014, 115 new issues of at least $50 million in market capitalization have been priced, a plump 55% higher than in the same period in 2013.
As a result, plenty of companies are straining at the leash to float their stocks. In the week preceding the holiday, 14 filed plans to list on the various exchanges. There is plenty of life in this market, but like any lively beast it needs to stop for a little R&R before continuing on the hunt.
Before we dig in to our two picks for this week, we need to issue a few words of caution. IPO investing carries above-average risk, since initial stock prices can be far from the value the market eventually puts on the company's shares. This situation provides immense upside potential, but it also opens the possibility of losing a big chunk of an investment.
Now, without further ado ...
Any company hoping to compete with networking powerhouse Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO ) had better have its act together. Judging by its financials, Arista certainly seems to -- its top line grew five-fold over the 2010 to 2013 fiscal years, from $71.7 million to $361.2 million, while net income ballooned from $2.4 million to $42.5 million. Our increasingly connected world needs this type of technology, so there's probably enough room for at least several key players in the segment.
Arista Networks' IPO is scheduled for Friday, with 5.25 million shares going on sale for $36 to $40 apiece. The company is to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ANET. Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) and Citigroup (NYSE: C ) are the issue's lead underwriters.
Speaking of Cisco, one of its former executives -- Bob Tinker -- is the president and CEO of this ambitious company. MobileIron's mission in life is nothing less than "to enable global companies to become Mobile First organizations, embracing mobility as their primary IT platform" through its various solutions. It'll be quite some work to pull corporate America away from the desktop workstations it's been planted at for the past few decades, but if successful, MobileIron could benefit very handsomely. There's obviously interest out there; the company's total revenues zoomed from just shy of $14 million in fiscal 2013 to over $105 million last year.
Last week, MobileIron updated its IPO documentation with the Securities and Exchange Commission, stating that it aims to sell slightly over 11.1 million shares for $8 to $10 per share. The flotation will be lead-underwritten by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) , Barclays (NYSE: BCS ) , and Deutsche Bank Securities, and the stock will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol MOBL. The IPO date has not yet been set.
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