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MarketWatch MarketPulseDec 17, 2018
IPO activity falls off a cliff last 2 months, but 2018 still a banner year
The market for initial public offerings fell off a cliff the last two months of the year, but Renaissance Capital said 2018 will still go down as a "good year" for IPOs. Overall, Renaissance said 190 companies went public in 2018, up 19% from a year ago, with proceeds jumping 32% to $47 billion. That comes despite a 66% drop in activity since November began, as global equity markets sold off, after a 42% rise through the first 10 months. That puts the 2019 IPO market on "uncertain footing," Renaissance said. That type of market "shock" normally puts a dent in IPO activity going forward, but with ride-hailing giants Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. and other billion-dollar companies indicating plans to go public, 2019 "could still be a big year for proceeds if not for deal count," Renaissance said. The Renaissance IPO ETF was down 0.9% in afternoon trade, putting it on course for a 19-month closing low. It has shed 19.2% the past three months, while the S&P 500 has lost 11.1%.

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