For all the market's seeming stagnancy of late, 'tis apparently the season to go public. Salesforce.com
The Seoul-based joint venture between Philips Electronics N.V.
The funny thing is that the very reason these joint ventures are getting set up -- the reason that at least one of them, LG Philips, will be going public to raise some investment money -- is already jinxing the expected results of the public offering. You see, LCD screens are in a sellers' market right now. Demand is high, so profits are high, too. Naturally, the producers want to capitalize on the situation, maximize production, and rake in the profits. (Not unlike the present situation in the U.S. steel market.)
But Wall Street looks forward, and apparently, it already sees a day not too far off when the upsurge in production capacity will cause LCD supplies to meet or exceed LCD demands. When that happens, the profits of ventures such as LG Philips will fall, and the fortunes of shareholders in the company will fall with them.
Thus the paradox: when demand outpaces supply, this gives rise to predictions that soon supply will outpace demand, creating a glut of LCD screens on the market. And a glut would result in LG Philips' investors receiving subpar returns on their investment. Naturally, this has the corollary effect of depressing demand for the LG Philips shares on offer. The company announced Monday that it now expects to raise only a hair more than $1 billion for the 13.6% stake that is for sale, down from earlier hopes for a maximum take of nearly twice that amount.
The lowered expectations are, of course, bad news for investors in LG Philips' parent companies. But there are at least two bright sides to the development: Those who buy into the IPO can now get their shares for nearly half off the original asking price. And those of us who have been hankering for an affordable flat-panel TV can hope that the paradox plays out as predicted.
Want to read more about the IPOs that have already taken place this year? Here's where you go:
- Salesforce.com Goes for the Close
- Blackboard's Screeching IPO
- Blue Nile's Sparkling IPO
- Cabela's Hot IPO
Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any company mentioned in this article. He's still biding his time on a flat-panel purchase, making do with a five-year-old RCA in the meantime like a good LBYMer.