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Professional Diversity Network IPO Struggles

Ian Wyatt

Professional Diversity Network’s (NASDAQ: IPDN) IPO fell flat in its market debut yesterday, getting the March initial public offerings market off to an inauspicious start.

The first stock to go public on a U.S. market in nearly three weeks, the Professional Diversity Network IPO declined 4% in its first day of trading and is down another 5.6% today. That doesn’t bode well for the provider of online networking and job opportunities for minorities, which went public below its expected range at $8 a share.

It was also a lukewarm kickoff for the March IPO market on the heels of a busy first two months of 2013. Twelve companies went public in January – the most since 2006. February brought another eight IPOs – less than the last two Februarys, but more than the previous three.

The returns have been even better. Year-to-date, the 21 companies that have gone public have returned an average of more than 15%. Only five of them have actually fallen since their debuts – another bad sign for Professional Diversity Network.

Up next on the IPO schedule are Artisan Partners Asset Management, a Wisconsin-based investment management business, and Silver Spring Networks, which provides smart grid products and services. According to IPO web site Renaissance Capital, no other public offerings are in the hopper – which could bode for a slower March than in recent years.

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