Nice: Credit Suisse Investment Banking

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.

With that in mind, picking out a bank that shone this year was a little tough. Though I'm partial to Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) -- it did put up the best average return for its IPOs among the firms that did 10 or more IPOs this year -- I have to give the nod to good ol' Credit Suisse. Of the active IPO underwriters, CS had a really nice year, with its average IPO returning 33% (overall returns are calculated using the author's analysis of data provided by CapitalIQ). Only five of its 35 IPOs this year are currently trading below the offering price. I hereby offer the CS investment bankers a golf clap, though I'm sure the massive bonuses they're getting probably serve as a nicer reward for their work.

Here's a snapshot of a few of Credit Suisse's big hits this year.

Optimized gains
Omniture (Nasdaq: OMTR  ) wants to help businesses be more efficient. The company offers on-demand business optimization software that helps its customers manage and analyze sales and marketing data. The company's IPO took place in the middle of the summer doldrums, and the stock ended up flat around the offering price of $6.50 for awhile. After a solid third-quarter earnings release, which saw revenue up 83% over the prior year and management raising guidance, the stock caught fire and is now more than twice the IPO price.

A learned rocket
New Oriental Education (NYSE: EDU  ) didn't waste any time winning over the imaginations of investors. The company is the largest provider of educational services in China, with more than 800,000 students. New Oriental's English, foreign-language, and test-preparation courses are designed to help its students achieve their goals. Excited investors seem thus far undeterred by a nosebleed valuation, as the stock is up 135% over the IPO price and just keeps on rising.

A home away from home -- across the world
If you're looking for a place to stay on your next trip to China, you may find yourself checking out Home Inn, one of the largest chains run by Home Inns & Hotels Management (Nasdaq: HMIN  ) . Apparently continuing its success with Chinese companies, Credit Suisse took this manager and franchiser of hotels public back in October. In a country where the sky seems to be the limit, Home Inns is growing like crazy and doesn't seem to have any intention of stopping. The market appears to think this is a pretty good plan, and has boosted the shares 155% over the IPO offering price.

With a great batting average and a few home runs in the mix, it was easy to put Credit Suisse on my nice list for 2006.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer can take no credit for the success of Credit Suisse's IPOs this year, but would gladly accept a portion of the bonus pool. Matt owns shares of Goldman Sachs, but does not have a stake in any of the other companies mentioned. Omniture is a Stock Advisor pick. The Fool'sdisclosure policyis always nice.


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