2011 U.S. Filing Activity Matches 2010 Levels, Setting Stage For Active 2012

by: Renaissance Capital IPO Research

Despite the drop-off in new issues this year, filing activity has proved surprisingly resilient in the U.S., with 259 initial submissions to the SEC, matching the number seen in 2010. With one week left in 2011, the final total for IPO filings this year could well exceed last year's. 2011 could become the third most active year for U.S. IPO filings over the last decade, trailing only 2004 (315 filings) and 2007 (299 filings).

US IPO Filings
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
128 106 315 255 262 299 107 119 259 259
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December 2011 also represented the third consecutive month of increased IPO filings and the first month IPO filings have increased year over year since July 2011. More than half of the filings in December came from the consumer and technology sectors.

Notable December 2011 US IPO filings:

Annie's (NYSE:BNNY), a leading organic food company; Avast (Private:AVST), which provides the world's most widely-used consumer security software; Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO), which provides WiFi service on commercial planes; Proofpoint (NASDAQ:PFPT), an on-demand data protection solutions provider; Roundy's (RNDY.RC), a Midwest supermarket chain; and Tumi (NYSE:TUMI), a luxury luggage retailer.

U.S. IPO Pipeline

The U.S. IPO pipeline now stands at 202 companies, the highest level since 2000. Half of the backlog consists of technology (51 companies), cleantech/energy (31) and consumer (17) sectors. The pipeline includes a number of large companies, including global asset manager The Carlyle Group (CARL), leading toy retailer Toys R Us (TOYS) and auto finance company Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY). Others looking to go public in 2012 include technology companies such as online reviews site Yelp (NYSE:YELP), travel search engine Kayak (NASDAQ:KYAK) and email marketing software provider ExactTarget (EXTG), and consumer names such as home furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware (RH.RC), restaurant chain Dave & Buster's (NASDAQ:PLAY) and party supplies retailer Party City (NYSE:PRTY).

Read our 2011 Global IPO Review.