Ping Identity Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering
Ping Identity Holding Corp. (“Ping Identity”) today announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 12,500,000 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $15.00 per share. The shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on September 19, 2019 under the ticker symbol “PING.” The offering is expected to close on September 23, 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.
Ping Identity has also granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,875,000 additional shares of its common stock on the same terms and conditions.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, BofA Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets and Citigroup are acting as lead book-running managers for the proposed offering, and Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities, and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as book-running managers for the proposed offering. Raymond James, Stifel, William Blair, Mizuho Securities and Oppenheimer & Co. are acting as co-managers for the proposed offering.
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with, and declared effective by, the Securities and Exchange Commission on September 18, 2019. This offering is being made only by means of a prospectus, copies of which may be obtained from: Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282, by telephone at 1-866-471-2526, or by e-mail at email@example.com; or BofA Merrill Lynch, NC1-004-03-43, 200 North College Street, 3rd floor, Charlotte NC 28255-0001, Attention: Prospectus Department, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or RBC Capital Markets, LLC, 200 Vesey Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10281, Attention: Equity Syndicate Department, by telephone at 1-877-822-4089, or by e-mail at email@example.com; or Citigroup Global Markets Inc. c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, New York 11717, or by telephone at (800) 831-9146.
This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation, or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
About Ping Identity
Ping Identity is pioneering Intelligent Identity. We help enterprises achieve Zero Trust identity-defined security and more personalized, streamlined user experiences. The Ping Intelligent Identity(TM) platform provides customers, employees, partners and, increasingly, IoT, with access to cloud, mobile, SaaS and on-premises applications and APIs, while also managing identity and profile data at scale. We provide flexible options to extend hybrid IT environments and accelerate digital business initiatives with multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, access management, intelligent API security, directory and data governance capabilities.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190918006039/en/
SOURCE: Ping Identity”>
The We Company, parent to office sharing start-up WeWork, has decided to pull the plug on WeWork’s IPO even after extensive plans for an investor roadshow. Let’s take a closer look at what’s really worrying prospective investors—and why an IPO could still work out.
The rise of shared office space is emblematic of the Millennial generation’s considerable influence on the world. Mindful, social, and sleekly designed, it’s—of course—also the impetus of a much-hyped IPO.
Unfortunately, we all know what happens when the buildup to an IPO leads to disappointment. Investors run for the hills, and analysts unleash their harshest critiques. We’re seeing this happen in real time as the WeWork IPO bites the dust.
Why the WeWork IPO didn’t work—at least not yet
Evidently, investor sentiment was lukewarm. WeWork’s minimum target for its IPO was $3 billion. Japan’s SoftBank (SFTBY) reportedly may have been prepared to buy up to $1 billion worth of WeWork shares. But even with this offer of assistance, WeWork still would have fallen short of its objective.
In addition to the funding shortfall, there may be issues with corporate governance. Some prospective investors might feel that Adam Neumann, WeWork’s co-founder and CEO, has too much influence within the company. Responding to this latter concern, The We Company has stated that it’s making changes “in response to market feedback.”
In particular, it’s reducing Neumann’s superior voting shares from 20 votes per share to ten. Neuman will also give The We Company any profit he makes from real estate deals he’s entered with the company, and he’ll limit his ability to sell shares in the second and third years post-IPO to 10% of his stock. Finally, none of Neumann’s family can serve on the board, and the board will select any successor.
What investors are really worried about with WeWork
When we learn a little bit more about Neumann, I think investors’ concerns come into sharper focus. Much like Tesla (TSLA) with Elon Musk, WeWork has a young-ish, visionary, outspoken, and perhaps somewhat eccentric leader who’s known for maintaining absolute control over the company.
In other words, prospective investors are concerned that Adam Neumann—a 40-year-old, Israeli-born serial entrepreneur whose stated mission is “to elevate the world’s consciousness”—will end up being another Elon Musk. Tesla’s CEO is a smart guy, no doubt. But he’s also a bit of a loose cannon, and he’s known for making a faux pas or two (or more).
Let’s face it: Tesla isn’t the only electric vehicle company out there. Nio (NIO) and other upstarts are gaining market share in the EV space. Yet Tesla has what its competitors don’t: a flamboyant, charismatic leader who knows how to leverage his cult of personality and grab headlines.
I guess you could say it’s a gift and a curse at the same time. Not every investor has the stomach for controversial CEOs or a mini-Musk in the form of Adam Neumann. I understand this concern. But who among us doesn’t wish they’d stockpiled TSLA shares during the Tesla IPO?
We can make it work
Besides, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) had been tapped to underwrite The We Company’s IPO. Those are highly sophisticated financiers that thoroughly research each and every investment. They don’t throw their money away on junk. Clearly, they saw the potential in WeWork and, therefore, in Adam Neumann’s leadership.
So I don’t think it’s chiefly a funding issue, even if that’s what the financial pundits have chosen to focus on. They also complained that WeWork pulled the plug on its IPO at the last minute. But I respect that decision because if WeWork is going to go public, The We Company should do it right or not do it at all.
In any case, this isn’t the end of the story—not even close. WeWork’s official statement is that they’re “looking forward to [the] upcoming IPO,” which they “expect to be completed by the end of the year.” I’m looking forward to it, too. Hopefully, by then, investors and analysts will say, “Good work, WeWork.”
As of this writing, David Moadel did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
Website infrastructure and security company Cloudflare (NET) went public on Friday, September 13. The IPO priced at $15/share, which was above the initial range of $10-12 per share. At the midpoint of the IPO price range, much less the current price, NET currently earns our Unattractive rating.
Cloudflare offers a variety of cloud-based services that used to be performed by many different on-premise solutions – such as firewalls, routing, virtual private networks (VPNs), traffic optimization, and load balancing – for businesses and websites. The company’s services have become integral to the operations of millions of websites around the world, but it has struggled to turn that global reach into positive cash flow.
This report aims to help investors sort through Cloudflare’s financial filings to understand the fundamentals and valuation of this recently public company.
Growing Paid Customers
Like many other recent software-as-a-service (NASDAQ:SAAS) IPOs, Cloudflare operates on a “freemium” model. The company’s free tier protects websites from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, reduces loading times, and protects certain information from malicious attacks. Paying customers get more advanced security offerings, as well as mobile optimization, faster network speeds, and a variety of other customized features.
As with any company that pursues this model, Cloudflare’s key challenge is to move its users up the value chain, getting free customers to pay and getting paying customers to pay more. The company currently provides services for over 20 million internet properties, but it only has ~75 thousand paying users.
As Figure 1 shows, though, the company has rapidly grown its paying user base over the past two and a half years, especially among its highest-paying customers. Total paying customers have more than doubled, from 35 thousand at the end of 2016 to 75 thousand as of June 20, 2019. Customers that pay over $100,000 annually have more than quadrupled over the same time, from 95 to 408.
Figure 1: Total and >$100k Paying Customers: 2016-June 30, 2019
However, as we saw with Slack (WORK), growing paid customers doesn’t always lead to positive cash flows. Cloudflare’s revenue grew from $135 million in 2017 to $193 million in 2018, a 43% increase. Its NOPAT, on the other hand, declined from -$8 million to -$83 million.
No Economies of Scale
Cloudflare’s mounting losses raise a key concern. Despite rapid top line growth, the company does not appear to have achieved any economies of scale. As Figure 2 shows, Cloudflare’s cost of revenue, sales and marketing, research & development, and general and administrative expenses all grew faster than revenue in 2018.
Figure 2: Cloudflare’s Expenses Growing Faster than Revenue: 2018 vs. 2017
Part of the large increase in general and administrative expense comes from unusually high stock-based compensation expense recorded as part of a secondary stock sale, as well as IPO preparation in 2018, but these factors don’t explain all of the increase. The company disclosed that general and administrative headcount increased by 63% last year.
Through the first six months of 2019, cost of revenue, sales and marketing, and research & development expenses continued to grow faster than revenue. Only general and administrative grew slower due to the unusual expenses in 2018, but it still represented 25% of revenue compared to 15% in 2017.
It’s not abnormal to see early-stage companies such as Cloudflare spending heavily on marketing and R&D. What is highly unusual is the fact that the company’s cost of revenue and general and administrative costs, which should theoretically benefit from scale, are also growing rapidly. The company will need to find a way to reverse these trends in order to achieve profitability.
Tech Giants Could Be Partners, Competitors, or Acquirers
Cloudflare’s relationship with the giants of the tech world could play a major role in determining its future. Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), and IBM Corp. (IBM) all have major cloud platforms, and all but AMZN currently partner with Cloudflare. Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud integrate Cloudflare into their platforms to deliver its services to their customers.
However, Cloudflare notes in its S-1 that these partnerships may be temporary. On page 143, it writes:
“Today, we work closely with these companies, some of whom are both partners and investors. In the long term, we may increasingly compete with them.”
It seems unlikely that these tech giants will want to rely on a third-party for key elements of their cloud platform over the long term. This disclosure from Cloudflare clearly suggests the company expects GOOGL, MSFT, and IBM to try to replicate its services in-house before too long.
Alternatively, any of those companies could be a potential acquirer. An acquisition would allow these large public cloud providers to more fully integrate Cloudflare’s technology into their platforms, while simultaneously denying that technology to key competitors. In the race to dethrone Amazon’s AWS as the dominant cloud platform, that technological edge could prove decisive. Cloudflare’s $3.2 billion market cap would be little more than a drop in the bucket for any of those companies.
Public Shareholders Have No Rights
While an acquisition could be good for investors, Cloudflare’s poor corporate governance could derail it. The company plans to go public with a dual-class share structure that will give shares held by insiders and early investors 10 times the voting rights of the shares sold to the public. As a result, executives and directors will control 66% of the voting power in the company, preventing public shareholders from having any say in corporate governance.
This dual-class structure could allow executives to block a potential acquisition that would be in the best interest of shareholders simply because they want to remain in charge.
DCF Model Reveals High Expectations
When we use our dynamic DCF model to analyze the future cash flow expectations baked into the midpoint of the IPO price range, we find that Cloudflare must achieve impressive growth and profitability in order to justify its expected valuation.
As noted above, Cloudflare’s prospects for profitability as a standalone entity seem poor, so it makes more sense to analyze the company’s potential value to an acquirer.
To justify GOOGL paying the midpoint of its IPO range of $11/share, Cloudflare must achieve 18% NOPAT margins – equal to GOOGL and up from its current margin of -43% – and grow revenue by 30% compounded annually for 8 years. See the math behind this dynamic DCF scenario. These expectations are even higher as NET rose in its trading debut.
If Microsoft acquired Cloudflare, and the company achieved Microsoft’s NOPAT margin of 30% while maintaining the same growth rate, the stock is worth $18/share today, a 67% upside to the midpoint of the IPO price range. See the math behind this dynamic DCF scenario. This upside is now less as NET rose in its trading debut.
While these scenarios suggest the company could justify or even exceed its IPO valuation, it relies on acquisitions, which may never materialize, to significantly boost margins. If Cloudflare doesn’t get acquired, it becomes much harder to see how this company creates value for its IPO investors.
Critical Details Found in Financial Filings by Our Robo-Analyst Technology
As investors focus more on fundamental research, research automation technology is needed to analyze all the critical financial details in financial filings. Below are specifics on the adjustments we make based on Robo-Analyst1 findings in Cloudflare’s S-1:
Income Statement – We made $8 million of adjustments, with a net effect of removing $4 million in non-operating expense (2% of revenue). You can see all the adjustments made to NET’s income statement here.
Balance Sheet – We made $115 million of adjustments to calculate invested capital with a net decrease of $27 million. The most notable adjustment was $44 million in operating leases. This adjustment represented 19% of reported net assets. You can see all the adjustments made to NET’s balance sheet here.
Valuation – We made $258 million of adjustments, with a net effect of increasing shareholder value by $258 million. You can see all the adjustments made to NET’s valuation here.
This article originally published onSeptember 10, 2019.
Disclosure: David Trainer, Kyle Guske II, and Sam McBride receive no compensation to write about any specific stock, style, or theme.
1 Harvard Business School Features the powerful impact of research automation in the case study “New Constructs: Disrupting Fundamental Analysis with Robo-Analysts.”
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WeWork’s parent company, We Company, is “expected to postpone its initial public offering” amid concerns from investors over how much the company is actually worth and lingering questions about its corporate governance, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. While the coworking space firm had expected to go through with the IPO this month, the Journal reported that its investor roadshow will now commence “mid-October at the earliest,” with some investors like SoftBank urging WeWork to wait until 2020.
According to Reuters, the decision to delay the IPO also indicates that investors are not satisfied with recent efforts to mollify critics of CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann, who has been facing scrutiny over little details like charging his own company $5.9 million for use of the “We” trademark and cashing out over $700 million in shares. Changes meant to rein Neumann in on Sept. 13 have apparently not secured the intended effect:
We Company had said it was making the changes “in response to market feedback”. It said Neumann’s superior voting shares will decrease to 10 votes per share from 20, though he will retain majority control of the company.
Neumann will also give the company any profit he receives from real estate deals he has entered in to with We Company. He will also limit his ability to sell shares in the second and third years after the IPO to no more than 10% of his stock.
(Neumann, it should be noted, reportedly once suggested that his company should have the highest valuation possible so he can help solve the refugee crisis.)
According to Reuters, last week We Company was rumored to have been considering an IPO valuation of $10-12 billion, less than the $12.8 billion in equity it has raised since 2010 and paltry enough to serve as a kick in the groin to the venture capital industry. We Company is bound by a commitment to a $6 billion line of credit it secured from banks in August that requires it to go public and raise at least $3 billion by the end of the year. Reuters wrote that even factoring in an offer from SoftBank to buy shares worth between $750 million and $1 billion, We Company concluded it would only raise a bit over $2 billion. That could possibly leave the company in need of alternative funding, which is a little like a listing ship frantically putting up Craigslist ads for lifeboats.
“The We Company is looking forward to our upcoming IPO, which we expect to be completed by the end of the year,” a We Company spokesperson told Reuters in a statement. “We want to thank all of our employees, members and partners for their ongoing commitment.”
(Bloomberg) — As bankers discussed Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Dubai last week, a drone attack was being planned to hit the heart of its operations over the weekend. It caused Saudi Arabia to halve its oil output and may cut the valuation of Aramco’s milestone deal.
The giant oil producer has accelerated preparations for a share sale that could happen as soon as November in Riyadh. Dozens of bankers from Citigroup Inc (NYSE:). to JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:) & Co. met last week to work on the deal, with analyst presentations scheduled for Sept. 22, people familiar with the matter have said.
“Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will push the company to demonstrate that it can effectively tackle terrorism or war challenges,” analysts led by Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa research at the Eurasia Group, said in a report. “The attacks could complicate Aramco’s IPO plans.”
In an attack blamed by the U.S. on Iran, a swarm of drones laden with explosives set the world’s biggest crude-processing plant ablaze. Floating a minority stake of the oil giant, officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., is part of Prince Mohammed’s efforts to modernize and diversify the economy.
The attacks underscored geopolitical tensions in the region. Iran denied responsibility, which was instead claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Oil prices surged by the most on record to more than $71 a barrel after the strike removed about 5% of global supplies. The main Saudi stock index Sunday fell as much as 3.1%, leading losses in the Gulf.
Back in 2017, investors suspected that Saudi government-related funds swooped in to support the market after the imprisonment of local billionaires at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh. That also happened amid the international crisis following columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Here’s more from analysts and investors:
“The latest attack on Aramco facilities will have only a limited impact on interest in Aramco shares as the first stage of the IPO will be local. The international component of the sale would be more sensitive to geopolitical risks”
Current valuation estimates for Aramco and its assets might not fully account for geopolitical risks
NOTE: Prince Mohammed, the architect of the IPO, has said he expects Aramco to be valued at over $2 trillion, but analysts see $1.5 trillion as more realistic
Al Dhabi Capital, Mohammed Ali Yasin
“I think this attack may delay the IPO even on the local exchange, and could affect the valuation negatively, as the investors have seen a live demonstration of the risk levels of the future revenues and business of the company. That was very low prior to this weekend attack”
“Aramco has one main source of revenue, oil. That is its strength, but now it is becoming its biggest weakness if it gets disrupted”
United Securities, Joice Mathew
This “will force investors to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate their risk models on Aramco”
“Even though this is a rare event, which could be potentially categorized as 4 or 6 sigma levels, the geopolitical risk premium on Aramco’s valuation model would show a sharp increase”
“As far as the pricing is concerned, my view is that there may not be much of an impact if the government is contemplating a 1% listing on the Tadawul. I think the government has the power and ability to influence the decisions of anchor investors there”
Tellimer, Hasnain Malik
“Ultimately the security risk is not so acute that it outweighs oil price, oil output and free float drivers of the valuation”
This attack “also provides an opportunity for Aramco to demonstrate the redundancy and resilience of its supply chain by minimizing disruption to customers and thereby helping to mitigate the valuation impact of this risk”
Qamar Energy, Robin Mills
“It will be all but impossible to proceed with the IPO if there are ongoing attacks”
“Valuing Aramco like Shell (LON:) or ExxonMobil (NYSE:) gets us to about $1.2-1.4 trillion. But that would drop significantly if we apply company-specific risk factors”
Al Ramz Capital, Marwan Shurrab
“The attacks could impact foreign sentiment for the IPO, but I don’t see a substantial hit to the valuation at this stage”
“Geopolitical risk has always been an important factor for valuations across the Middle East region. Aramco will have to demonstrate its financial resilience toward such incidences to gain investors confidence”
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Yemen‘s Iran-aligned Houthi group on Saturday attacked two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia‘s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility, in a strike that three sources say has disrupted output and exports.
The pre-dawn drone attack on the Saudi Aramco facilities sparked several fires, although the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, later said these were brought under control.
Three sources close to the matter told Reuters news agency that oil production and exports had been affected. One source said five million barrels per day of crude production had been impacted — close to half the kingdom’s output — but did not elaborate.
Saudi state television said exports were continuing, however Aramco has yet to comment since the attack which the Houthis said involved 10 drones. Authorities have not said whether oil production or exports were affected.
The drone attacks lay bare the vulnerabilities of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure network at a time when Aramco, officially called Saudi Arabia Oil Co., is ramping up efforts to sell shares to the public for the first time.
The initial public offering (IPO) of the state oil giant, which could happen as early as this year, follows earlier cross-border attacks on Saudi oil installations and on oil tankers in Gulf waters.
Saturday’s attacks appeared to be the most brazen yet.
Saudi Aramco’s chief executive, Amin Nasser, said on Tuesday that the company’s primary listing would be on Saudi Arabia’s domestic stock exchange but that it was also ready for an offering on an international exchange.
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Monday that the kingdom was aiming for the Aramco IPO “as soon as possible”
Based on the indicated $2 trillion valuation that Saudi Aramco had hoped to achieve, a one-percent float would be worth $20bn – huge for the local market.
Analysts and bankers, however, say $1.5 trillion is a more achievable valuation for the world’s biggest oil company.
Aramco’s flotation, which could be the world’s biggest IPO, is crucial to raise money for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman‘s plans to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil revenues.
Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis, has blamed regional rival Iran for previous attacks, which Tehran denies. Riyadh accuses Iran of arming the Houthis, a charge denied by the group and Tehran.
Authorities have not reported on casualties. A Reuters witness nearby said at least 15 ambulances were seen in the area and there was a heavy security presence around Abqaiq, home to the world’s largest oil processing plant.
Abqaiq is 60 km (37 miles) southwest of Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters. The oil processing plant handles crude from the world’s largest conventional oilfield, the supergiant Ghawar, and for export to terminals Ras Tanura – the world’s biggest offshore oil loading facility – and Juaymah. It also pumps westwards across the kingdom to Red Sea export terminals.
“A successful attack on Abqaiq would be akin to a massive heart attack for the oil market and global economy,” said Bob McNally, who runs Rapidan Energy Group and served in the United States National Security Council during the second Gulf War in 2003.
Two of the sources said Ghawar was flaring gas after the strikes disrupted gas processing facilities. Khurais, 190 km (118 miles) further southwest, contains the country’s second largest oilfield.
Many Western employees of Aramco live in Abqaiq. The US Embassy in Riyadh said it was unaware of any injuries to Americans from the attacks.
“These attacks against critical infrastructure endanger civilians, are unacceptable, and sooner or later will result in innocent lives being lost,” the embassy quoted Ambassador John Abizaid as saying in a Twitter post.
It was not yet clear whether any civilians from other countries were injured.
The three sources said Aramco had raised emergency levels and was holding a crisis meeting after the assault.
It was the latest in a series of Houthi missile and drone strikes on Saudi cities that had largely been intercepted, but have recently hit targets, including the Shaybah oilfield last month and oil pumping stations in May. Both those attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.
“This is a relatively new situation for the Saudis. For the longest time they have never had any real fears that their oil facilities would be struck from the air,” Kamran Bokhari, founding director of the Washington-based Center for Global Policy, told Reuters.
He said Riyadh had in the past largely protected oil assets against vehicle-borne explosive attacks by militant groups.
Flames, plumes of smoke
Hours after the Houthi strike in Abqaiq, the Reuters witness said fire and smoke were still visible but had started dying down. Earlier video footage verified by Reuters showed bright flames and thick plumes of smoke rising towards the dark pre-dawn sky. An emergency vehicle is seen rushing towards the site.
The Saudi interior ministry said Aramco industrial security teams fighting the fires since 0400 (0100 GMT) had managed to control them and stop their spread. It did not identify the source of the drones but said an investigation was under way.
The Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes on Yemen’s northern Saada province, a Houthi stronghold, on Saturday, a Reuters witness said. Houthi-run Al Masirah TV said the warplanes targeted a military camp.
The Houthis’ military spokesman, without providing evidence, said drones hit refineries at both Saudi sites, which are over 1,000 km (621 miles) from the Yemeni capital Sanaa, and pledged a widening of assaults on Saudi Arabia.
The chief of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani praised the Houthis for their resistance in a Twitter post.
Tensions in the region have escalated in recent months after the United States quit an international nuclear deal and extended economic sanctions on Iran.
Fellow Gulf OPEC producers the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait voiced support for any measures by Saudi Arabia to safeguard its security.
The violence is complicating United Nations-led peace efforts to end the Yemen war which has killed tens of thousands and pushed millions to the brink of famine. The conflict is widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran
The coalition intervened in Yemen to try to restore the internationally recognised government ousted from power in Sanaa by the Houthis, who say they are fighting a corrupt system.
New Delhi, Sep 15 () With just over three months to go for the year-end, only 11 companies have hit the capital markets so far in 2019 garnering over Rs 10,000 crore through initial share sales, much lower than 24 firms raising Rs 30,959 crore in entire 2018.
The initial public offering (IPO) market is expected to remain challenging for the next few months as well due to volatility in markets on account of global and domestic factors, marketmen said.
“The IPO market will continue to remain tough during the year. There has been steep correction in valuation of mid and small cap stocks, which deters the primary market,” Reliance Securities Head of Research Naveen Kulkarni said.
So far this year, 11 firms have gone public collecting a total of Rs 10,300 crore through IPOs, as compared to 24 companies that raised Rs 30,959 crore in entire 2018, data available with the stock exchanges showed.
In 2017, as many as 36 firms mopped-up a record amount of over Rs 68,000 crore through initial share-sales.
The funds have been raised for business expansion plans, loan repayments and working capital, while a large amount raised from IPOs also went to the promoters, private equity firms and other existing shareholders for part or full sale of their stakes.
Market experts attributed the lower fund raising through IPOs to several factors, including trade war between the US and China, poor market sentiments and depreciating Indian currency.
“As compared to a high point reached in 2017, the number of IPOs has been on a decline in 2018 and in 2019. This is a consequence of several factors that have dampened investor interest in the primary capital markets over the last 12-18 months,” said Mukund Rangnathan, Executive Director- Motilal Oswal Investment Banking.
“Given that out of 90 companies that filed DRHP (Draft Red Herring Prospectus) in the past year, only a very small number have been able to successfully complete their IPO, naturally companies are looking at alternatives other than IPO market to meet their requirements. Hence, we are not seeing as many DRHP filings as one would expect when the markets are more conducive for IPOs,” he added.
Rangnathan further said,” We are almost half way through the second half of the year and based on the current environment, we are not seeing a significant uptick in IPO activity in the current year. Sentiment amongst investors and receptivity to new issues will have to materially improve before we start seeing activity volumes in the IPO market.”
Companies that came out with their IPOs in 2019 included Sterling & Wilson Solar, Spandana Sphoorty Financial, Affle India, Chalet Hotels, Rail Vikas Nigam, Metropolis Healthcare and Polycab India.
Interestingly, shares of most companies that got listed in 2019 are trading above their issue prices and experts said gains could be because of “adequate pricing”.
A total of 23 companies have approached capital markets regulator Sebi for raising funds through IPOs in this year so far. In comparison, a staggering 90 firms filed draft papers with the regulator in all of 2018, according to Sebi data.
Besides, there are dozens of firms that have already secured Sebi’s go ahead to launch IPOs but they are not keen to go public this year. In fact, the regulator’s approval for some of them may expire in the next couple of months.
Lack of investors’ appetite for IPOs and volatile equity market conditions are forcing companies to postpone their plans.