IPO Market Slows in April

Coming off the busiest two-month stretch in more than a year, IPOs slowed just a tad in April.

For the month, there were 15 initial public offerings in the U.S. – down from 20 in March and 18 in February. The IPO numbers also trailed the 17 public companies that debuted last April.

Still, the 15 IPOs were enough to make February through April the most prolific stretch for IPOs since the fourth quarter of 2010. Fifty-three companies have gone public over the past three months.

The April IPO haul fetched $3.6 billion, down slightly from March but more than double the $1.7 billion raised in February.

None of the companies that went public in April were household names. Splunk (Nasdaq: SPLK), a software development company, posted the biggest returns among the month’s IPOs, gaining 106% from its $17 IPO price. Tumi Holdings (NYSE: TUMI) was a distant second, with 47.6% returns.

May is shaping up to be another busy month. Six companies are slated to go public this week. Another 11 IPOs are lined up for the following week.

Of course, all of them are mere warm-up acts to the month’s – and probably the year’s – main event: the Facebook IPO. The social networking giant is scheduled to go public later in May, perhaps as early as the third week.

Facebook’s success could go a long way toward determining whether the IPO market stays hot through the rest of the year.

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