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

  • China Sunergy
    • Ticker: Nasdaq: CSUN
    • Industry: Chinese solar cell product manufacturer
    • Deal terms: 8.5 million American depositary shares, $11 per share
    • Lead manager: Merrill Lynch
    • Filed: April 26
    • Opening day: May 17, opened at $12, closed at $16.56, 50.5% gain
    • Bleacher banter: Priced above proposed range of $8-$10 per share

  • EnerNOC
    • Ticker: Nasdaq: ENOC
    • Industry: Energy-conservation solution provider
    • Deal terms: 3.8 million shares, $26 per share
    • Lead managers: Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley
    • Filed: Feb. 12
    • Opening day: May 18, opened at $30.76, closed at $31.13, 19.7% gain
    • Bleacher banter: Priced above its revised higher range of $23-$25 per share

  • TechTarget
    • Ticker: Nasdaq: TTGT
    • Industry: Network operator
    • Deal terms: 7.7 million shares, $13 per share
    • Lead managers: Morgan Stanley and Lehman
    • Filed: Feb. 7
    • Opening day: May 17, opened at $14.50, closed at $14.79,  13.8% gain
    • Bleacher banter: Priced at midpoint of its proposed range

  • TriMas
    • Ticker: NYSE: TRS
    • Industry: Equipment manufacturer
    • Deal terms: 11 million shares, $11 per share
    • Lead managers: Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch
    • Filed: Aug. 3 (refiling)
    • Opening day: May 18, opened at $11.55, closed at $11.75,  6.8% gain
    • Bleacher banter: Priced at low end of its proposed range

  • Insulet
    • Ticker: Nasdaq: PODD
    • Industry: Insulin infusion system developer
    • Deal terms: 7.7 million shares, $15 per share
    • Lead managers: JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch
    • Filed: Feb. 14
    • Opening day: May 15, opened at $17, closed at $15.96, 6.4% gain
    • Bleacher banter: Priced at midpoint of its proposed range and increased size of offering by 1 million shares

  • Skilled Health Care Group
    • Ticker: NYSE: SKH
    • Industry: Health-care services provider
    • Deal terms: 16.7 million shares, $15.50 per share
    • Lead manager: Credit Suisse
    • Filed: Oct. 10
    • Opening day: May 15, opened at $16, closed at $15.90, 2.6% gain
    • Bleacher banter: Priced slightly above midpoint of its proposed range

  • CAI International
    • Ticker: NYSE: CAP
    • Industry: Container-leasing company
    • Deal terms: 5.8 million shares, $15 per share
    • Lead manager: Piper Jaffray
    • Filed: Feb. 7
    • Opening day: May 16, opened at $15.02, closed at $15, 0% gain
    • Bleacher banter: Priced at midpoint of its proposed range

  • Eurand
    • Ticker: Nasdaq: EURX
    • Industry: Dutch pharmaceutical
    • Deal terms: 7 million shares, $16 per share
    • Lead managers: Deutsche Bank and Lehman
    • Filed: May 1
    • Opening day: May 17, opened at $15.90, closed at $15.44,   3.5% loss
    • Bleacher banter: Priced below its proposed range of $17-$19 per share

  • Continental Resources
    • Ticker: NYSE: CLR
    • Industry: Oil and gas company
    • Deal terms: 29.5 million shares, $15 per share
    • Lead managers: JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch
    • Filed: March 7
    • Opening day: May 15, opened at $14.50, closed at $14.10,  6% loss
    • Bleacher banter: Priced below its proposed range of $16-$18 per share

  • Pinnacle Gas Resources
    • Ticker: Nasdaq: PINN
    • Industry: Natural-gas exploration
    • Deal terms: 3.8 million shares, $9 per share
    • Lead manager: Friedman Billings
    • Filed: Dec. 21
    • Opening day: May 15, opened at $8.75, closed at $8.41, 6.6% loss
    • Bleacher banter: Priced below its proposed price range of $10-$12 per share

On deck

  • B&G Foods
    • Proposed ticker: NYSE: BGS
    • Industry: Food manufacturer
    • Proposed deal terms: 13.9 million shares, $12-$14 per share
    • Lead managers: Credit Suisse and Lehman
    • Filed: May 9

  • Clean Energy Fuels
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: CLNE
    • Industry: Alternative-energy provider
    • Proposed deal terms: 20 million shares, $13-$17 per share
    • Lead manager: WR Hambrecht
    • Filed: Sept. 6

  • Greenlight Capital Re
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: GLRE
    • Industry: Cayman Islands-based reinsurance provider
    • Proposed deal terms: 10.3 million shares, $16-$18 per share
    • Lead managers: Lehman and UBS
    • Filed: Jan. 16

  • Helicos BioSciences
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: HLCS
    • Industry: Life-sciences company
    • Proposed deal terms: 5.4 million shares, $13-$15 per share
    • Lead manager: UBS
    • Filed: Feb. 28

  • RSC Equipment Rental
    • Proposed ticker: NYSE: RRR
    • Industry: Equipment-rental provider
    • Proposed deal terms: 20.8 million shares, $23-$25 per share
    • Lead managers: Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and Lehman
    • Filed: Feb. 13

  • Sirtris Pharmaceuticals
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: SIRT
    • Industry: Biopharmaceutical
    • Proposed deal terms: 5 million shares, $9-$11 per share
    • Lead managers: JPMorgan and CIBC World Markets
    • Filed: March 1

  • STARLIMS
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: LIMS
    • Industry: Israeli laboratory-software provider
    • Proposed deal terms: 2.1 million shares, $13.50-$15.50 per share
    • Lead managers: Oppenheimer and JMP Securities
    • Filed: May 4

Game of the week
Let's take a look at RSC Holdings this week.

The Arizona-based company is one of the largest equipment-rental providers in North America. The company rents a broad array of equipment to mainly industrial and non-residential construction companies through a network of 459 rental locations across 10 regions in 39 states and four Canadian provinces.

According to the prospectus, the company generated revenues of $1.7 billion and net income of $186.5 million in 2006, compared with $1.5 billion and $164.2 million for the prior year. Through the end of the quarter ended in March, the company recorded 15 consecutive quarters of same-store year-over-year rental revenue growth, with same-store rental revenue growth of 12%, 18%, 19%, and 13%, and operating income growth of approximately 76%, 44%, 31%, and 12% in 2004, 2005, 2006, and the three-month period ended March 31, 2007, respectively.

Industry sources that the company cites claim that the U.S. equipment-rental market was a $34.8 billion industry last year, with an 11% compound annual growth rate between 1990 and 2006. It's anticipated that this highly fragmented market will grow to $37.6 billion by the end of this year. RSC Holdings believes that its national footprint, young high-quality fleet, disciplined management and procurement processes, superior customer service, and diverse and stable customer base will help it continue its profitability and growth. Proceeds from the offering will be used for general corporate purposes, as well as to repay certain debt, plus a prepayment penalty and a separate fee.

Shares are expected to begin trading 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

  • Amicus Therapeutics, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, announced deal terms of 5 million shares at $14-$16 per share. The lead managers are Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

  • Einstein Noah, a bagel-restaurant operator, announced deal terms of 5 million shares at $19-$21 per share. The lead managers are Morgan Stanley and Cowen.

  • Jazz Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company, announced deal terms of 6 million shares at $24-$26 per share. The lead managers are Morgan Stanley and Lehman.

  • Starent Networks, a wireless infrastructure equipment provider, announced deal terms of 10.5 million shares at $9-$11 per share. The lead managers are Goldman Sachs and Lehman.

Sent down to the minors
No offerings scheduled for last week were officially postponed.

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

  • Akrion
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: AKRI
    • Industry: Semiconductor manufacturer
    • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
    • Lead managers: Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank
    • Filed: May 14 (refiling)

  • Ensign Group
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: ENSG
    • Industry: Skilled-nursing provider
    • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
    • Lead managers: D.A. Davidson and Stifel Nicolaus
    • Filed: May 14

  • Golub Capital Partners
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: GCAP
    • Industry: Holding company
    • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
    • Lead manager: Wachovia
    • Filed: May 14

  • LDK Solar
    • Proposed ticker: NYSE: LDK
    • Industry: Chinese solar-wafer manufacturer
    • Proposed deal terms: 17.4 American depositary shares, $25-$27 per share
    • Lead managers: Morgan Stanley and UBS
    • Filed: May 11

  • Marathon Real Estate Finance
    • Proposed ticker: NYSE: MRR
    • Industry: REIT
    • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
    • Lead managers: Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers
    • Filed: May 11

  • MonoSol Rx
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: MSRX
    • Industry: Pharmaceutical-product developer
    • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
    • Lead manager: Cowen
    • Filed: May 14

  • Power Medical Interventions
    • Proposed ticker: Nasdaq: PMII
    • Industry: Medical-device maker
    • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
    • Lead managers: Jefferies and Lazard
    • Filed: May 14

  • UPEK
    • Proposed ticker: NYSE: UPEK
    • Industry: Fingerprint-authentication provider
    • Proposed deal terms: Not yet determined
    • Lead manager: Deutsche Bank
    • Filed: May 14

Disabled list
No planned offerings were withdrawn last week.

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

Riverbed Technology (NASDAQ:RVBD)

296%

Tech

9/20/06

MasterCard (NYSE:MA)

254%

Credit card services provider

5/24/06

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)

217.1%

Solar-module provider

11/16/06

New Oriental Education (NYSE:EDU)

205.6%

Chinese educational-services provider

9/6/06

Omniture (NASDAQ:OMTR)

194.3%

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)

(81.6%)

Telecom

5/24/06

Alphatec Holdings (NASDAQ:ATEC)

(61.6%)

Medical-device maker

6/1/06

Netlist (NASDAQ:NLST)

(58.3%)

Tech

11/29/06

Aventine Renewable Energy (NYSE:AVR)

(57.4%)

Ethanol producer

6/28/06

MEDecision (NASDAQ:MEDE)

(50.3%)

Medical-software provider

12/12/06

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 the prospectuses before buying season tickets.

Our seasoned IPO players turned in a better performance than the broader small-cap market last week. The First Trust IPOX 100 (AMEX:FPX), an ETF, led the field with a 0.5% gain, and the IPO Plus Aftermarket (FUND:IPOSX), a mutual fund, followed with a 0.1% increase. The Nasdaq slipped 0.1%, and the Russell 2000 declined 0.7%.

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

We're publicly offering further Foolishness:

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

MasterCard is an Inside Value recommendation. New Oriental Education is a Global Gains selection. Omniture is a Stock Advisor pick. Try out any of our Foolish newsletter 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 owns shares of Goldman Sachs but otherwise holds no financial position in any firms or funds mentioned here. The Fool has a disclosure policy.