DEFINITION of 'Break Issue'

A type of stock initial public offering (IPO) that trades below the original offering price to the market within the first few months after trading begins. A break issue can be the result of poor market conditions as a whole, industry concerns or lack of demand in the new issue itself.

BREAKING DOWN 'Break Issue'

If several IPOs drop below their original offering price in a short period of time, private companies looking to go public (and the underwriters looking to take them there) may delay their security filings, as investor demand would be deemed low. Any one IPO will rise or fall on its own merits, but a trend of poor performance may signal that the timing just isn't right to make a company public. Break issues also can be the result of a venture-capital firm hoping to quickly cash-out of one or more of their portfolio investments before the company is mature enough to be a public issue.

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