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After last week's five deals, January finished the month with 12 pricings, making it the second most active January in the past decade, trailing only the 15 pricings in January 2006. Though pricings to start the year could signal healthy deal flow in the coming months, it is also possible that January's strong start is attributable to the fact that some companies decided to delay their deals in November and December to avoid the market volatility following the election.

Only seven new deals filed in January, marking the slowest January for new filers in the past decade aside from 2009 and the overall slowest month for new filers, along with October 2012 and June 2009, since May 2009. The reduced visibility into the IPO pipeline, coupled with faster deal movement (8 of the last 9 new filers beyond the 21 day minimum for starting a roadshow have already either priced or set terms, the exception being SeaWorld, which was not a confidential filer), could be the new normal created by the JOBs Act.

Pfizer’s animal health care unit, Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS), which was the largest IPO from a US company since Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) after raising $2.2 billion, priced above the range at $26 and closed the day up 19% at $31. Investors were attracted to its $22B addressable market, which is expected to grow at a 6% CAGR through 2016. Zoetis holds leading marketing positions in all regions in which it operates, aside from Western Europe where it holds the #2 position.

Biotechs price well below original ranges, real estate plays attempt to capitalize on appetizing market

Stemline Therapeutics (NASDAQ:STML), which is developing cancer stem cell treatments, traded up 10% since its Tuesday debut after it priced at $10, below the original of $11-$13 range and at the low end of the revised range of $10-$12. Investors were likely wary of the early developmental stages of its products, which contributed to its failed IPO attempt in August 2012. KaloBios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KBIO), which is developing monoclonal antibodies to treat respiratory diseases and cancer, originally set a price range of $12-$14 before revising downward to $8-$9 and eventually pricing at $8. The stock has remained flat since listing on the NASDAQ on Thursday.

Gladstone Land (NASDAQ:LAND), a REIT organized to acquire and lease farmland focused on annual row crops, and TRI Pointe Homes (NYSE:TPH), a California-focused single-family homebuilder, also debuted last week. Gladstone, which relies on Dole for 72% of rental revenue, priced at $15 and traded flat. TRI Pointe Homes expects to take advantage of the resurgent housing market: US home sales are expected to grow at a 13% CAGR through 2016. The deal priced at $17, above the range of $14-$16, and continued its upward trend, closing the week at $19.

Financial services blank check company added to the pipeline

H2 Financial Management (NASDAQ:HTWO) filed for an IPO that could raise $150 million after filing confidentially in December. It expects to acquire a financial services company with the proceeds, a path that the management team is familiar with after managing the 2006 IPO of Highbury Financial. Highbury Financial raised $47 million in its IPO, which it used to acquire the mutual fund business of ABN AMRO and to rebrand it as Aston Asset Management, which was ultimately acquired by Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE:AMG) in 2010.

Five new companies set terms, small cap growth companies to test the market

ExOne (NASDAQ:XONE), a 3D printing company, set terms for a $75 million deal. The company is offering 5 million shares at a price range of $14 to $16. The last rapid prototyping company to test the market, ProtoLabs (NYSE:PRLB), shot up 81% on its first day and has posted a total return of 162% since its February 2012 IPO. It was the second-best performing IPO of 2012, behind Vipshop (NYSE:VIPS) (up 192%).

Xoom (NASDAQ:XOOM), which provides online consumer-to-consumer international money transfer services and was on our Private Company Backlog, announced terms for an $81 million IPO. Though there is insider selling (19% of 5.8 million shares), investors could be attracted to its strong growth. Revenue increased 60% in 2012. Sequoia Capital (18% post-IPO stake), New Enterprise Associates (16%), Agilus Ventures (10%), T. Rowe Price (7%) and DAG Ventures (7%) are the primary backers.

In addition, mortgage REIT ZAIS Financial (NYSE:ZFC), New Jersey bank ConnectOne (NASDAQ:CNOB) and LP New Source Energy Partners (NYSE:NSLP) all set terms. ZAIS, which invests in agency and non-agency RMBS, plans to raise $120 million in a deal that will value the company at $189 million. ConnectOne, a full-service commercial bank that operates eight offices in northeastern New Jersey, expects to raise $44 million. New Source Energy Partners LP saw its sponsor, New Source Energy, fail to go public in May 2012 and is now attempting to raise $80 million.

Thus far in 2013, the IPO market has been littered with LPs, biotechs and more mature companies, with the average age of companies going public this year at 19 years. The most well-received IPOs year-to-date Norwegian Cruise Line (NASDAQ:NCLH), up 39%), Bright Horizons (BFAM, 27%) and Zoetis are large, well-established companies with track records of growth, profitability and strong cash flow. The debuts of ExOne, Xoom and Health Insurance Innovations (NASDAQ:HIIQ), which will begin trading next week, will provide a better litmus test of the market’s appetite for small cap growth companies. The rest of the calendar includes wood products company Boise Cascade (NYSE:BCC), diagnostic testing providers AutoGenomics (AGMX) and Cancer Genetics (NASDAQ:CGIX), Jamaica's National Commercial Bank (NCJ) and Brazilian offshore oil and gas driller QGOG Constellation (QGOG).

Source: Most January Pricings Since 2006, Zoetis Surges In Debut