If the calendar for initial public offerings holds, May could be a blowout month for companies hitting the market. Analysts, however, said many of the 67 companies in the pipeline will never make it out the door.
The long list of companies going public is a function of two events. For starters, many companies have pushed off IPOs in hopes of better timing. In addition, there's a big glut of companies in registration.
Analysts said two things have to happen to break the IPO logjam. The market volatility has to subside and there needs to be a break-out IPO to get investors' attention again. "Preferably, we'd have both," said Randall Roth, an analyst at Renaissance Capital. "There has to be something to get investors excited."
Good luck. Investors have just about had it with many IPOs. Dozens of IPOs are trading well below their initial prices. The worst of the worst -- Drkoop.com (Nasdaq: KOOP), Fashionmall.com (Nasdaq: FASH), Pets.com (Nasdaq: IPET), Mothernature.com (Nasdaq: MTHR), Musicmaker.com (Nasdaq: HITS) and E-Stamp (Nasdaq: ESTM) -- are all down more than 70 percent from their offering prices.
That glut will limit the number of IPOs hitting the market in May. "The calendar is artificially inflated," said Roth. "A lot of companies are staying ready just in case things pick up."
And if the market doesn't pick up? It doesn't take much to predict a big June glut too. "There's a huge pipeline," said Roth. "I don't think it has ever been as big as it is now."
Here are a few interesting IPOs on deck in May:
Playboy.com competes with Web sites that cater to the young male demographic. The company cited sports, entertainment, adult-oriented and online gaming sites as competition. That list would include every company from Sportsline (Nasdaq: SPLN) to eUniverse (Nasdaq: EUNI). The number of shares and price range hasn't been set yet.
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