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SeaWorld IPO Headlines Growing List

Chris Preston

The IPO hopper is overflowing.

No fewer than 13 companies have lined up to go public in the coming days, according to IPO site Renaissance Capital. Two of them priced yesterday – shuttle tanker company KNOT Offshore Partners (NYSE: KNOP) and homebuilder Taylor Morrison (NYSE: TMHC).

Of the 13 initial public offerings currently listed, SeaWorld is by far the most recognizable. Operator of 11 U.S. theme parks including Busch Gardens, SeaWorld Entertainment announced terms for an IPO yesterday. The Orlando-based company plans to raise $510 million by offering 20 million shares at a price range of $24 to $27 a pop.

At the midpoint of its expected price range, SeaWorld would command a market value of $2.4 billion. That would be quite a splash (pun intended).

The sudden glut of IPOs likely reflects two things: one, that U.S. markets are at all-time highs and companies wanting to go public are striking while the iron is hot; and two, that IPO proceeds of late are enticing others to jump in the pool.

Through the first quarter, U.S. IPOs had raised $7.6 billion – the second-most lucrative first three months since 2008. That’s impressive when you consider that the number of IPOs was down from the past two first quarters.

The returns haven’t been too shabby either, with an average first-day pop of 13%. Of the 17 companies that have gone public in the last two months, only three of them are down from their IPO prices.

KNOT Offshore and Taylor Morrison aren’t off to bad starts in their first day of trading. Both stocks have risen roughly 5.5% in their debuts.

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