Archipelago Learning (NASDAQ:ARCL), Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE:CLD), Global Defense Technologies (NASDAQ:GTEC), and 7 Days Group (NYSE:SVN) are all expected to begin trading Friday, marking the busiest day in IPOs since September 23 of this year, when five companies made their debuts.
Cloud Peak Energy (CLD), a Rio Tinto carve-out of the US's third largest coal producer, and Global Defense Technologies (GTEC), a provider of IT services to US defense agencies, have both announced prices below their respective ranges. Cloud Peak raised $459 million by offering 30.6 million shares at $15, below the proposed range of $16-$18. In a smaller deal, Global Defense raised $60 million by offering 4.6 million shares at $13, below the proposed range of $14-$16.
7 Days Group (SVN), the only ADS offering on today's docket, priced $10.1 million shares at the top of the $9-$11 range at $11, raising $111 million. 7 Days is the third largest and fastest growing economy hotel chain in China. Archipelago Learning (ARCL) also priced near the top of its range of $15-$17, offering 6.3 million shares at $16.50 and raising $103 million. The company provides a subscription-based online education platform for students K-12.
These four IPOs hope to continue the recent trend set by Fortinet (NASDAQ:FTNT) and rue21 (NASDAQ:RUE), the two most recent companies to go public before today. Fortinet, a global IT leader in the unified threat management space, and rue21, a discount fashion retailer that targets teenagers, have posted impressive first day pops of 33.0% and 27.9%, respectively. Compared with an average first day return of 4.9% for the nine companies that have debuted in the last 30 days, Fortinet and rue21 have demonstrated strong performance, ranking among the top ten on our list of best performing first day IPO returns year-to-date.