IPO Doldrums Reflect Shutdown's Woes Even as Resumption Averted

(Bloomberg) -- It’s been a dreary start of the year for initial public offerings in the U.S.

The average share price increase for the 16 companies that went public this year was only 3.3 percent through Friday -- and that’s factoring in the 52 percent first-day share pop for a biotech company that raised only $7 million. Nine of the companies closed higher than their offer price on Friday, while six have lost ground and one won’t debut until Tuesday.

The lackluster performance was on the heels of lowered expectations flowing from the 35-day U.S. government shutdown that sidelined the Securities and Exchange Commission. To bypass SEC review requirements for a typical IPO that prices within a range, seven of the firms sold their shares for a predetermined price and four of those still shrank the size of their offerings.

IPO Doldrums Reflect Shutdown's Woes Even as Resumption Averted

Of the rest, three priced their shares at the midpoint of the targeted range, while four came in at the bottom of their ranges and two below them. The bunch raised a combined total of $1.2 billion, compared with $9.26 billion by 29 companies during the same period last year.

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Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies accounted for nine of the listings this year and included 2019’s biggest IPO so far. Shares of Gossamer Bio Inc., which raised $317 million, have risen 17 percent since its Feb. 7 IPO.

Legislation keeping the government open was signed Friday by President Donald Trump, lifting a pall over the market that had been created by fears of a renewed shutdown.

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