Capital Markets

Final IPOs for the Class of 2004

Through last week 220 initial public offerings have raised more than $41 billion this year.
Stephen TaubDecember 14, 2004

It’s going to be an IPO feeding frenzy this week as investment bankers close out their 2004 calendars for new stock offerings.

The Wall Street Journal predicted that as many as 20 offerings could come to market this week, which is shaping up as the busiest this year. According to the Journal, which cited data from Thomson Financial, 60 IPOs have been priced so far in the fourth quarter, following 66 offerings in the third quarter.

Altogether, through last week 220 initial public offerings have raised more than $41 billion this year, compared with $16 billion raised by just 86 IPOs in 2003, according to Barrons, citing Thomson Financial.

This year’s average offering has risen 29 percent, the weekly paper added — far exceeding the performance of virtually every stock index. The share price of Shanda Interactive, a Chinese entertainment company, nearly quadrupled since going public in May. Google, perhaps the year’s highest-profile IPO, slightly more than doubled in price since its August debut, ranking it only 17th in terms of performance, according to Barrons.

This week, the highest-profile deal is shaping up to be the Las Vegas Sands offering of 23.8 million shares priced at $20 to $22. It will be the first U.S. casino operator to go public since Wynn Resorts Ltd. sold 32 million shares at $13 each in 2002.

Founded by Sheldon Adelson in the 1970s, it erected the spectacular, Italian-themed Venetian Hotel in 1999, which has the highest operating margins and occupancy rates on the Las Vegas strip, according to CBS MarketWatch. And in June, it opened the wildly successful $265 million Sands Macao, the first Vegas-style casino in Asia, on a small island off the coast of China.