It was a pretty good year for those investing in IPOs. Of more than 200 IPOs from this year that I looked at (excluding any OTC or Pink Sheets offerings), the average return to date is around 23%, with just less than 65% of the IPOs trading above the offering price. While there are definitely some dogs in the bunch, there are also a number of serious standouts, with some stocks already doubling, tripling, or, in one case, even hitting six-bagger status.
But as bankers try to strike that balance between bringing in underwriting revenue and bringing good companies to market, some are bound to fall short. This year I'm singling out CIBC World Markets, the division of Canadian Imperial Bank Commerce that houses its investment banking division, as having fallen short of delivering top-quality offerings to investors. Of firms that have done 10 or more IPOs this year, CIBC has the lowest percentage of offerings trading above the offering price, and the lowest median return on all deals. Though CIBC's average IPO return of about 27% was very respectable (overall returns are based on author analysis using data from CapitalIQ), it drops to a paltry 4% if you exclude the Omrix Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: OMRI ) offering, which is up more than 200% from its offering price.
Below are a few of CIBC's misses this year.
Allot of red
Allot Communications (Nasdaq: ALLT ) , an Israeli designer of broadband optimization solutions, came to market with some excitement and managed to price its offering at $12 per share, above the initial filing range of $9-$11. It hasn't been pretty since the offering, though, and you can pick up shares of Allot for a little more than $10 today. Of course, if you're a retail investor, you may be a little more peeved, since Allot opened to retail investors at $14.50 per share on the day of its IPO.
That tricky Troxatyl
Early-stage biopharma company SGX Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SGXP ) came public at the very start of this year at $6 per share. The company is involved in developing cancer therapeutics and had particularly high hopes for Troxatyl, a compound for treating acute myelogenous leukemia. Unfortunately, about seven months after the IPO, the company announced that it was discontinuing development of Troxatyl because of some poor results from its phase 2 and 3 trials. Piper Jaffray, another underwriter on the deal, downgraded the stock to "sell," and the shares fell more than 40% that day. You can now pick up shares of SGX for the low, low price of around $3 per share.
LeMaitre Vascular (Nasdaq: LMAT ) , a provider of vascular devices, was headed in the wrong direction from the very beginning. After an IPO priced at $7 per share, the stock opened its first day of trading at $6.50 and closed at $6.20 -- a swift loss of 11%. With growth that's just OK and thin profitability, it appears there wasn't enough to get investors excited at all, and the stock has continued to slide to where it now sits at just less than $6.
It's nice to hit a home run once in a while, and a few too many strikeouts puts CIBC on my naughty list.
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