Palo Alto Surges in Public Debut; Fender Withdraws IPO
Palo Alto climbed 27 percent to $53.13 as of 4 p.m. in New York, while Kayak rose 28 percent to $33.18. Palo Alto sold 6.2 million shares at $42 each yesterday, generating more than $260 million, while Kayak sold 3.5 million shares at $26 each to raise $91 million. Both priced their sales above the proposed ranges.
The sales indicate the recovery in U.S. technology IPOs is building on momentum from the June offering of software maker ServiceNow Inc., which handed a 37 percent gain to new investors on its first day. While pricing above the range shows investors’ appetite for risk has grown, the stocks may have trouble maintaining the valuations, which were higher than peers’, said Thornburg Investment Management Inc.’s Tim Cunningham.
“People are open to taking on the risks of IPOs -- what’s going to be more important is how these stocks trade,” said Cunningham, who helps oversee $79 billion at the firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “It seems like overall the quality of the deals and companies is pretty good, and I think that helps.”
Other IPOs met with less enthusiasm. Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FNDR), the largest guitar seller in the U.S., canceled its offering last night, saying economic conditions prevented it from obtaining an “appropriate valuation.” The Scottsdale, Arizona-based maker of the Stratocaster had planned to raise as much as $160.7 million in its offering.
More to Come
Still, at least eight more U.S. IPOs are set for next week, from companies including eatery operators Chuy’s Holdings Inc. and Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group Inc.
Palo Alto earlier sought about twice the price of peers relative to historical sales in its IPO. The Santa Clara, California-based company and existing shareholders had offered 6.2 million shares for $38 to $40 after raising the price range from $34 to $37 earlier this week.
Similar-sized peers, such as Juniper Networks Inc. and Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., traded at an average of about 6.4 times last year’s sales based on yesterday’s closing price, Bloomberg data show, while larger competitor Cisco Systems Inc. traded at a multiple of 2, and Intel Corp. traded at 2.4 times. Palo Alto is listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PANW.
Kayak first filed to go public in November 2010 and had sought as much as $87.5 million, offering shares for $22 to $25 each. Kayak is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol KYAK.
The IPO price valued Kayak at $1 billion, or 4.1 times sales of $245 million in the 12 months through March 31, Bloomberg data show. That’s 43 percent higher than the median multiple of 2.9 times for peers such as Expedia Inc., TripAdvisor Inc. and Travelzoo Inc., the data show.
The travel-site operator had delayed its IPO after Facebook fell as much as 32 percent in the month following its public debt, people familiar with the matter said in May. The U.S. market stalled for more than a month after Facebook’s (FB) offering, the biggest in history for a technology or Internet company.
Morgan Stanley led the offering for Kayak, as well as those for Palo Alto, ServiceNow and Facebook. The New York-based bank came under fire after Facebook’s debut as the stock languished, with some shareholders filing lawsuits claiming the company and its underwriters overpriced the IPO.
“This recent IPO success can set a better tone for Morgan Stanley,” said Richard Sichel, who oversees $1.6 billion as chief investment officer at Philadelphia Trust Co. “To make everyone happy on day one is a good starting point. They were priced relatively well.”
Technology companies weren’t the only successes. Five Below Inc. (FIVE) advanced 56 percent in its debut after pricing its IPO at the top end of an increased range.
The Philadelphia-based retailer and its existing holders sold about 9.62 million shares for $17 apiece, according to a statement yesterday. Later that day the company’s underwriters exercised the overallotment option, allowing them to buy more stock. The retailer rose 2.9 percent to $27.27 in New York.
“It’s healthy to see some risk appetite returning,” said Kevin Bannon, chief investment officer at Highmount Capital LLC in New York, which manages $2 billion. “People might finally have gotten beyond some of their macro concerns, realizing they’re not about to go away, and are trying to find some interesting ideas again.”
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