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This year was the strongest for IPOs since 2014 with approximately $46.8 billion generated from 190 IPOs. Last year ROKU was the best performer, up a mammoth 269%. Here are the best IPOs in 2018: $TLRY $ALLK $ARMO $GSHD $ZS


Best IPO 2018

There were 19% more IPOs in 2018 than 2017, up 32% in capital raised year over year with the median deal size this year around $108 million.

  • The most number of IPOs were in healthcare with 76 in 2018 which showed an average return of 8.9% on total proceeds of $9.1 billion.
  • The tech sector had the second-highest number with 52 IPOs which posted an average return of 8.1% on total proceeds of $18.4 billion.

With the length of the bull market before it crashed in the last quarter it was no surprise we saw a series of huge IPOs. There were around 10 firms which raised a minimum of $1 billion in IPOs this year. AXA Equitable Holdings Inc $EQH was the leader with $2.75 billion it raised in its IPO in May this year. Another feature was 44 IPOs were private equity backed, raising $16 billion, the highest amount raised in the last four years. Venture capitalists backed around 87 IPOs this year, raising $15 billion in total funding.

Notice also many of these top IPOs are substantially off 2018 highs and still all over 100% their IPO price.

1. Tilray ($TLRY): Up 415% at $70.54 Close

Tilray engaged in the research, cultivation, processing and distribution of medical cannabis and is based based out of Nanaimo, Canada. The company launched its IPO on the Nasdaq July 19 and shares are up 415% since. The total IPO size was $153 million at $17 a share.  At one stage in the height of weed stock euphoria TLRY was up over 850% by the end of September. Tilray was not just the best IPO but also the best performing stock of 2018. ahead of the next best stock Twilio (TWLO).

The Tilray burst higher unraveled quickly, just three days after the peak it lost two-thirds of its value. The volatility tells you much about the risk on attitude of thr past year where we also say cryptocurrencies collapse and many major stocks fall over 50% as the VIX soared.

Tilray in December announced a pact with Novartis (NVS) to distribute medical marijuana. Speculators point to ten U.S. states now having  legalized marijuana for recreational use, and cannabis is legal for medical use in 33 states. 

TLRY IPO 2018

TLRY The IPO Star of 2018

 

2. Allakos ($ALLK): Up 290% at $52.27 Close

Allakos was the best performing biotech, the company operates as a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company and is engaged in the development of therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of allergic, inflammatory and proliferative diseases. $AALK is based out of San Carlos, CA . The company launched its IPO on Nasdaq in July.

Shares of the company have witnessed growth of 290% so far since it went public. The total IPO size was $127.8 million at $18 a share.

ALLK IPO 2018

3. Goosehead Insurance. ($GSHD): Up 262% at $26.29 Close

Goosehead Insurance, Inc. (NASDAQ: GSHD) opened for trading on April 27 this year at $12 after pricing its initial public offering of 8,530,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a price to the public of $10.00 per share.

Goosehead is an independent personal lines insurance agency that distributes its products and services throughout the United States. Goosehead represents over 80 insurance companies that underwrite personal lines and small commercial lines risks, and its operations include a network of seven corporate sales offices and over 400 franchise locations.

GSHD IPO 2018 

4. ARMO Biosciences ($ARMO): Up 194% at $50 Buyout

ARMO BioSciences (NASDAQ: ARMO) on January 26 this year opened for trading at $28 after pricing 7,529,412 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $17.00 per share. However ARMO Biosciences was acquired by Eli Lilly in an all-cash deal valued at nearly $1.6bn. Lilly originally signed a definitive agreement in May to buy all outstanding shares of ARMO for $50 each. The deal is part of Lilly’s strategy to strengthen its immune-oncology portfolio. The transaction was carried out by merging Bluegill Acquisition Corporation with ARMO, which has now become a wholly owned subsidiary of Lilly.

Lilly Oncology senior vice-president and president Sue Mahony said: “We are pleased to announce the completion of our acquisition of ARMO BioSciences, which adds a promising clinical immunotherapy asset, pegilodecakin, to Lilly’s oncology portfolio. “Lilly will continue to pursue medicines that use the body’s immune system in new ways to treat cancer and that have the potential to make a meaningful difference to patients with cancer.”

5. ZScaler (ZS): Up 174.5% at $27.93 Close

ZScaler was the best performing tech IPO of 2018. Zscaler (NASDAQ:ZS) is a cybersecurity provider and went public in March at $16 per share. The company has since public posted solid earnings, grown revenues, and turned a (non-GAAP) net profit for its last quarter. ZS was also one of four cloud-based service providers given an opportunity to achieve certification through the FedRAMP Connect Program, which would allow it to provide security solutions across U.S. government agencies. Earlier this year, it was certified by the FCC to provide cloud security solutions to agencies anywhere on any device.

 With a market cap of $5.4 billion, however, Zscaler is about a quarter of the size of rivals like Check Point Software, Fortinet, and Palo Alto Networks which have all been subject to rumors to buy oout ZS.

ZS IPO 2018

 

The close was taken as the trading day of he year December 31 2018, prices differ from the table prices of Dec 13

Source: Renaissance Capital Finviz

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