Five companies went public in a week that was overshadowed by next Friday’s long-anticipated Facebook IPO.
Western Asset, WageWorks, Audience, Ignite and Edwards Group were this week’s IPOs. WageWorks had the best week of the bunch. The consumer-directed benefits provider has risen 40% since its Wednesday debut. Audience, a manufacturer of cables, power chords and power conditioners, was the only other company of the five to post gains. The stock has risen 12.4% since its initial public offering.
That brings the total for May up to 10 IPOs. But all of them were prelude to the Facebook IPO.
As we wrote last week, Facebook is aiming for the mother of all initial public offerings. The company is targeting a $96 billion valuation right out of the gates, which would make it the richest company ever to debut on the stock market. It would also more than quadruple the total of the previous high for a tech stock IPO, set by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) in 2004.
But Facebook is facing a few headwinds with its IPO now just a week away. First there was all the ballyhoo about founder Mark Zuckerberg wearing a “hoodie” to the company’s meetings with potential investors – something that ruffled a few feathers and has been deemed a sign of poor etiquette on the part of the world’s youngest billionaire. Then the Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation in to Facebook’s recent $1 billion deal to buy photo-sharing application company Instagram.
Now some investors are expressing reluctance over the IPO after the company said on Wednesday that its advertising growth has slowed. So it may not get to the $96 billion Zuckerberg and company were hoping for.
Facebook hopes to raise $11.8 billion in its IPO – which would also be a record for an Internet company. Regardless of what happens in the next week, this will be a gigantic – and quite possibly record-setting – deal.
But the Facebook IPO is starting to encounter a few more obstacles than the social networking company may have initially anticipated.