Everyone Loves an IPO

Posted by on February 8th, 2012

As financial PR and IR professionals, our job is to maintain a steady read on the pulse of the market. We are obsessed with daily news from WSJ, FT, NYT, AP, Reuters, CNBC and the like. But another way to gauge the market is to actually speak TO the market itself.

For the past five years, we have conducted an annual survey of leading securities lawyers to get their outlook on the IPO market for the year ahead.

IPO Outlook

Those surveyed seem to approach this year like the past five with ‘cautious optimism’. Since the inauguration of this survey predates the financial crisis, and the markets have seen its all time high and low during this period, it is an interesting point that the year in and year out takeaway is virtually the same. Perhaps it is that ‘cautious optimism’ is the standard lawyers’ stance or because everyone is fearful of another IPO bubble and post bubble fallout of the late 1990s.

Social Media Bubble

That said, there are few things that excite the business community (which includes lawyers, bankers, investors and media) more than IPOs and 2012 is no exception. Given the recent media frenzy, it is no surprise that 93% of the lawyers we spoke to said that the most anticipated IPO of this year is Facebook. Now we wait on the sidelines to see if market expectations meets reality and what type of wake the Facebook offering will create. Anecdotally we heard from the lawyers we spoke with that IPO pipelines are more robust than they have been in the last 10 years and institutional and retail investors alike are hoping for at least some market stability so that they can put money to work.

While the overall sentiment hasn’t changed over the years there are many other trends that have. Those most notable include:

KCSA IPO Factors KCSA IPO China KCSA IPO Factors KCSA IPO Foreign

Now it is time to sit back and wait to see how much anticipated offerings such as Facebook perform and whether the market will continue to be choppy or if we will start to see some smooth sailing.