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In rash of IPOs, companies raise less than hoped

Updated at: 06/27/2013 4:05 PM
By BREE FOWLER

(AP) NEW YORK - The stock market’s recent gyrations are taking their toll on some IPOs.

In a possible warning sign for the market for initial public stock offerings, five companies, ranging from former Home Depot arm HD Supply to Aratana, a developer of pet medicines, raised less money than they had hoped.

That’s mainly because of recent volatility in the stock market, said Greg Leffert, a research analyst for IPO research firm Renaissance Capital.

Stocks plunged last week after the Federal Reserve said it might cut back on its billions of dollars in stimulus spending this year. Shares have recovered in recent days, and the stocks of four of the newly public companies rose Thursday.

Despite the lower-than-expected proceeds from the five IPOs, Leffert said demand remains strong, with more than 60 deals since the start of the second quarter. That’s the most since in five years. He attributed that to increased investor optimism, market stability and pent-up demand for IPOs over the past couple years. "It’s definitely good that these were able to get done and it bodes well for activity picking up in next quarter," Leffert said. On Thursday, Burlington Holdings Inc., owner of the Burlington Coat Factory store chain, said it was planning a $175 million IPO.

The recession that started in December 2007 shocked the IPO market, and deal volume has yet to return to the levels from before the financial crisis. Healthy IPO markets can reflect overall economic conditions and investor sentiment. They’re often used by small, new companies to generate the cash they need to expand.

HD Supply Holdings Inc. raised $957.6 million in its IPO, marking at least the fifth-largest deal of the year. The Atlanta-based industrial distributor, formed in 2007 after a group of investors bought Home Depot Inc.’s former wholesale distribution business, had hoped to draw investors upbeat about the recent rebound in the construction industry. But HD Supply sold 53.2 million shares at $18 each. The company had hoped to fetch $22 to $25 per share. Shares added 3.7 percent to close at $18.66 Thursday.

CDW Corp., which provides information technology services for businesses, universities and government agencies, raised about $396 million. It sold 23.3 million shares for $17 each, the low end of the Vernon Hills, Ill.-based company’s revised range of $17 to $18. In mid-June, CDW had said it hoped to sell 27.9 million shares for $20 to $23 apiece. The stock rose 8.1 percent to $18.37.

Demand for the company’s stock was probably hurt by recent reports of IT spending cuts, Leffert said.

Both HD Supply and CDW plan to use the proceeds from their IPOs to pay down debt.

Several other companies also traded higher after pricing below expectations. Pet medicine developer Aratana Therapeutics Inc. gained 38 percent to $8.26 after raising about $35 million. The Kansas City, Kan., company priced 5.8 million shares at $6 each. It had hoped for a price of $11 to $13 in a smaller offering of 4.3 million shares. And shares of Silvercrest Asset Management Group Inc. rose 7.6 percent to $11.83 after the New York investment manager raised nearly $53 million. It sold 4.8 million shares for $11 each, below its expected range of $12 to $14.

But Tremor Video Inc. shares failed to gain traction, falling 15 percent to $8.50. The New York video ad company raised $75 million in its IPO _ 7.5 million shares for $10 each, below the expected range of $11 to $13.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)