Just like opening day at the ballpark, investing in new IPOs holds the potential for shining promise and crushing disappointment. If you simply can't bear to just cheer on your favorites from the sidelines, at least be careful about investing in this league. Many new issues swing for the fences during their first trading days, only to slump once the marketing hype has given way to mundane earnings reports.

Don't commit an error by stocking your entire portfolio with rookies. Allocate just a small percentage of your risk capital to IPOs. Scout your potential phenoms carefully, and be choosy about composing your own rotisserie league. Investing with an eye for a season extending long beyond opening day will reward you with quality players capable of staying in the game. With that in mind, we offer our Foolish scouting report of the latest IPOs.

Last week's games

Winner: Sourcefire

  • Ticker: Nasdaq: FIRE
  • Industry: Network-security provider
  • Deal terms: 5.8 million shares, $15 per share
  • Lead manager: Morgan Stanley
  • Filed: Oct. 25
  • Opening day: March 9, opened at $15, closed at $15.49, 3.3% gain
  • Bleacher banter: Priced above its proposed range of $12-$14 per share.

Clearwire

  • Ticker: Nasdaq: CLWR
  • Industry: Broadband-network operator
  • Deal terms: 24 million shares, $25 per share
  • Lead managers: Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley
  • Filed: Dec. 19 (refiling)
  • Opening day: March 8, opened at $27.25, closed at $24.62, 1.5% loss
  • Bleacher banter: Priced at high end of its proposed range; increased size of offering by 4 million shares; the largest tech IPO yet in 2007, but a disappointing start.

Loser: Xinhua Finance Media Limited

  • Ticker: Nasdaq: XFML
  • Industry: Chinese media company
  • Deal terms: 23.1 million American depositary shares, $13 per share
  • Lead managers: JP Morgan and UBS
  • Filed: Feb. 21
  • Opening day: Mar. 9, opened at $13, closed at $11.35, 12.7% loss
  • Bleacher banter: Priced at midpoint of its proposed range.

On deck

BigBand Networks

  • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: BBND
  • Industry: Tech
  • Proposed deal terms: 10.7 million shares, $10-$12 per share
  • Lead managers: Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch
  • Filed: Dec. 22

FCStone Group

  • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: FCSX
  • Industry: Commodity risk management services
  • Proposed deal terms: 4.6 million shares, $21-$24 per share
  • Lead managers: BMO Capital Markets and Banc of America
  • Filed: Oct. 1

Photowatt Technologies

  • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: PHWT
  • Industry: Solar cell manufacturer
  • Proposed deal terms: 10.9 million shares, $15-$17 per share
  • Lead managers: BMO Capital Markets and UBS
  • Filed: Sept. 1

Tongjitang Chinese Medicines

  • Proposed ticker: NYSE: TCM
  • Industry: Chinese pharmaceutical
  • Proposed deal terms: 9.9 million American depositary shares, $15-$17 per share
  • Lead managers: Merrill Lynch and UBS
  • Filed: Feb. 26

Game of the week
BigBand
, a network developer, may make some noise this week.

The California company, founded in 1998, provides network-based platforms that enable service providers to offer integrated video, voice, and data services across coaxial, fiber, and copper networks. A leader in product development, BigBand's clients include Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, TimeWarner Cable, and Verizon.

Profitable since 2006, the company posted net revenues that jumped 80.3% to $176.6 million for the year ended Dec. 31, from $98 million the preceding year. For the three months ended Dec. 31, BigBand recorded $8.9 million net income, compared with a $5.8 million loss for the prior-year period. The company had an accumulated deficit of $111.3 million as of Dec. 31.

The increasing demand for "triple-play" services makes this offering an attractive play for your tech portfolio. Shares are expected to begin trading on Wednesday. As always, make sure you do your own warm-ups and read through a company's offering documents, including the risk factors, before getting in on the game!

Warming up in the bullpen

  • Aruba Networks, a security-software provider, announced deal terms of 8 million shares at $8-$10 per share. The lead managers are Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers.

  • Cheniere Energy Partners, a natural-gas-terminal operator, announced deal terms of 12.5 million shares at $19-$21 per share. The lead managers are Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and Credit Suisse.

  • CastlePoint Holdings, an insurer, announced deal terms of 6.1 million shares at $13-$15 per share. The lead manager is Friedman Billing Ramsey.

  • Glu Mobile, a mobile-phone-game provider, announced deal terms of 7.3 million shares at $10-$12 per share. The lead managers are Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Banc of America, and Needham.

  • Haynes International, an alloy manufacturer, announced deal terms of 2.1 million shares at $61-$64 per share. The lead manager is JP Morgan.

Sent down to the minors
No company announced postponements of planned offerings last week.

Minor-league developments
Get ready, get set ... not yet! The latest filings announced during the last week include:

Aecom Technology

  • Proposed ticker: NYSE: ACM
  • Industry: Architectural and engineering design firm
  • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
  • Lead managers: Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and UBS
  • Filed: March 8

BWAY Holding

  • Proposed ticker: NYSE: BWY
  • Industry: Container manufacturer
  • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
  • Lead manager: Goldman Sachs, Banc of America, Deutsche Bank, and JP Morgan
  • Filed: March 9

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

  • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: JAZZ
  • Industry: Pharmaceutical
  • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
  • Lead managers: Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers
  • Filed: March 9

SemGroup Energy Partners

  • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: SGLP
  • Industry: Energy partnership
  • Proposed deal terms: 12.5 million shares, price range not yet determined
  • Lead manager: Citigroup
  • Filed: March 9

Starent Networks

  • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: STAR
  • Industry: Wireless infrastructure provider
  • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
  • Lead managers: Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers
  • Filed: March 6

Disabled list
OncoGenex
, a biotech, withdrew its planned offering, citing market conditions.

Champions
Meet our current champs. Among companies that went public during the past 12 months, these firms' percentage returns from their offer prices to their most recent closing prices rank them as the top five players.

Company

Return

Description

IPO Date

Omrix Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:OMRI)

278.6%

Biotech

4/21/06

Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ:RVBD)

217.8%

Tech

9/20/06

New Oriental Education (NYSE:EDU)

175.1%

Chinese educational-services provider

4/20/06

Home Inns & Hotels (NASDAQ:HMIN)

173.6%

Chinese hotel chain

10/25/06

Omniture (NASDAQ:OMTR)

167.5%

Software provider

6/27/06



Benchwarmers
Now meet our current benchwarmers -- that's nicer to say than "losers," isn't it? Among companies that went public during the past 12 months, these firms' percentage returns from their offer prices to their most recent closing prices rank them as the bottom five players.

Company

Return

Description

IPO Date

Vonage Holdings (NYSE:VG)

(75.5%)

Telecom

5/24/06

Aventine Renewable Energy (NYSE:AVR)

(63.6%)

Ethanol producer

6/28/06

Visicu (NASDAQ:EICU)

(55.4%)

Health-care-services provider

4/4/06

Restore Medical (NASDAQ:REST)

(53.3%)

Medical-device maker

5/16/06

Alphatec Holdings (NASDAQ:ATEC)

(50.8%)

Medical-device maker

6/1/06



Groupies and fan clubs
If you don't want to declare your loyalties for specific players but still want to enjoy the action, consider subscribing to an IPO-focused mutual fund or exchange-traded fund. Of course, do your scouting homework here, too, and make sure you read their prospectuses before buying season tickets.

Last week, equities rebounded and the IPO players advanced, with the IPO Plus Aftermarket (FUND:IPOSX), a mutual fund, inching up 0.4%, and the First Trust IPOX 100 (AMEX:FPX), an exchange-traded fund, increasing 0.9%. The Nasdaq rose 0.8%, while the small cap Russell 2000 stole the game by gaining 1.2%.

Keep reading the Fool to see how your favorite players perform as they mature!

We're publicly offering further Foolishness:

Sources: Renaissance Capital's IPOhome.com, SEC filings, Reuters.

Omrix Biopharmaceuticals is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Omniture is a Stock Advisor selection. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are Income Investor selections. Check out any of our services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor S.J. Caplan roots for the Cleveland Indians when her husband is watching, and for the Boston Red Sox when he leaves the room. She holds no financial position in any firms or funds mentioned here. The Fool has a disclosure policy.