A private company can raise capital by selling shares publicly to institutional investors and retail investors through a new stock issuance, called an initial public offering (IPO). The advantage of investing in an IPO is that investors get the benefit of picking a potentially underpriced stock early and before brokerages take large stock positions.
It's important for IPO investors to track upcoming IPOs in order to capitalize on available opportunities. Below are seven sources for tracking upcoming IPOs.
- A private company can raise capital by selling shares publicly to institutional investors and retail investors through a new stock issuance, called an initial public offering (IPO).
- Investing in an IPO provides many benefits: commission-free stock positions, picking potentially underpriced companies at the start, and potentially profiting from price jumps on listing day (and in the mid- to long-term).
- IPO investors can track upcoming IPOs on the websites for exchanges like NASDAQ and NYSE, and various specialty websites.
- These include: Google News, Yahoo Finance, IPO Monitor, IPO Scoop, Renaissance Capital IPO Center, and Hoovers IPO Calendar.
- Note that IPO investing also includes increased risk and volatility compared to more established stocks.
Some of the most reliable sources of information on upcoming IPOs are exchange websites. For example, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ both maintain dedicated sections for IPOs. NASDAQ has a dedicated section called "IPO Calendar" and NYSE maintains an "IPO Center" section. Sourcing information directly from the exchange websites is prudent because it's official, reliable, and will be the most up-to-date information.
Exchange websites will also provide access to the official IPO prospectuses. The drawback of relying on exchange websites is that you may not get the most recent news because exchanges only update their sites after proper verification. Another limitation of using exchange websites is that they may only provide information about the issues that will be listed on their exchange. Investors must thus check different exchange sites to get a sense of all IPO opportunities.
Performing a search on Google News with relevant search terms like “IPO” can offer some of the most up-to-date news items, including analyst opinions, market commentary, and other developments for any upcoming IPO offering.
Google News is a single source for all global IPOs, regardless of the exchange or country where an IPO is listed.
You can create customized Google news alerts for the term “IPO” to get all the updated news delivered directly to your mailbox or RSS feed.
Yahoo's finance portal has a dedicated IPO section with details on the IPO date, symbol, price, and links to IPO profiles and news items. It also offers performance tracking of past IPOs.
IPO Monitor is a dedicated website that provides IPO-specific news for tracking IPOs. Apart from the usual IPO information, it also provides broader market-level statistics under the section called “Current IPO Market Dashboard.” This section provides information about the current number of IPOs filing, IPO withdrawals, and top performers.
IPO Monitor also offers a subscription-based service that provides subscribers with dedicated research reports on IPOs.
The website IPOScoop offers information related to upcoming IPOs. Paid subscribers also get access to SCOOP's ratings for upcoming IPOs.
The "SCOOP" in IPO Scoop is an acronym for Wall Street Consensus of Opening-day Premiums.
Renaissance Capital IPO Center
Renaissance maintains a dedicated IPO section that has a weekly calendar for IPO offerings. It also offers other related content such as articles about the largest U.S. IPOs and the largest global IPOs, in addition to dedicated sections like “IPO News” and “IPO Poll."
The Benefits and Drawbacks of IPO Investing
Investing in an IPO offering provides many benefits: commission-free stock positions, picking potentially underpriced companies at the start, and potentially profiting from price jumps on listing day (and in the mid- to long-term). Investing in an IPO can let ordinary investors get in early on a hot company. Just imagine if you had bought into the IPOs of companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, or Facebook.
There are, however, some risks to be aware of with IPOs. Since they are brand new stocks, there is no prior price history or fundamental analysis to be done on financial statements. As a result, there can be uncertainty around the fair value of a newly-listed stock. As a result, price volatility can be higher than usual. Moreover, if many investors are piling into a hot IPO, the price can be pushed to artificially high levels in the first days of trading, only to see them fall thereafter.
Investors should judge each IPO individually and according to the prospectus of the company going public, as well as their own financial circumstances and risk tolerance.
Pros & Cons of IPO Investing
Become an early investor
Can potentially buy undervalued shares early
Usually no commissions on IPOs
Little price or financial history yet
Higher volatility and risk than established stocks
IPO price may be artificially bid up
Not all IPOs available to all brokerages
What Is an IPO?
An IPO—or initial public offering—takes place when a company issues shares to the public for trading for the first time. IPOs are a way for new companies to raise equity capital from investors, and often considered an exit strategy for early investors who can sell their shares at a premium.
How Far In Advance Will You Know About Upcoming IPOs?
The timing of an IPO announcement will coincide with a company's regulatory filings for registering and issuing new shares. This can range from a matter of weeks to more than a year. Typically, however, investors will have around six months heads up based on a filing to IPO.
How Long Do You Have to Hold an IPO Before Selling?
For ordinary investors, you can buy and sell IPO shares at any point, including throughout the first day of trading. Insiders, however, are subject to lock-up periods whereby they cannot sell their shares until a certain amount of time (usually several months to more than a year) has passed. This lock-up period is spelled out in the IPO's prospectus.
The Bottom Line
IPO investors can keep track of upcoming IPOs, overall market sentiment, associated news, and expert opinions by using the sources discussed above.