Top 10 Most Important IPOs

10. SFX Entertainment

SFX Entertainment
SFX Entertainment
The electronic dance music subculture brought its bass-heavy party to Wall Street in October with the IPO of SFX Entertainment, a promotion company that hosts EDM concerts and festivals. The company’s CEO, Robert F. X. Sillerman, already created a successful rock promotion company in the 90s that was eventually sold to Clear Channel for $4.4 billion. So far, Wall Street isn’t dancing to SFX’s beat, though. The company is trading below its IPO price of $13.

9. Chegg

Following on the heels of Twitter’s successful IPO, the debut of Chegg, an online textbook rental company, was watched closely by Wall Street and the tech world to gauge just how frothy the IPO market might be getting. At least at this point, not every tech stock is an automatic home run—Chegg tumbled 23 percent in its first day of trading, and slid further in the ensuing week. The performance showed Wall Street has not yet reached the IPO euphoria of the dot-com bubble, good news.

8. 58.com

More and more Chinese companies are choosing to list on U.S. stock exchanges. 58.com, a classifieds listing site known as the Chinese version of Craigslist, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in October. The company managed to double its IPO price over the course of the next month. The success of Chinese stocks in U.S. may soon lure Alibaba, an e-commerce giant based in Hangzhou, which could net a market valuation of $100 billion.

7. Burlington Stores Inc.

The discount retail chain best known for its Burlington Coat Factory stores went public for a second time in October after being taken private in an acquisition by Bain Capital in 2006. The company, which operates 500 stores, got a 40 percent pop on its first day from its IPO price of $17. The stock peaked above $40 in November, and analysts project the company will generate $4.43 billion in revenue this year.

6. Gogo

Gogo has become the go-to source for Internet service on airplanes and in airports. The company, which provides Internet access on 81 percent of airplanes that have Wi-Fi in North America, raised $187 million at an IPO price of $17 per share. The company’s stock is now hovering around $30 and is likely to benefit from new FAA rules that will allow passengers to use mobile devices during takeoff and landing and even make phone calls during flights.

5. Zulily

Zulily
Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / Getty Images
Wall Street is becoming increasingly crowded with e-commerce companies, and online retailer Zulily joined the crowd in November. The shopping site, which specializes in daily flash sales on products for mothers and their children, saw its stock jump 71 percent on its Friday day from an IPO price of $22. Successful IPOs for coupon site RetailMeNot and Channel Advisor, an e-commerce consulting firm, will likely convince more e-commerce companies to go public in the future.

4. Tri Pointe Homes

The public debut of the housing company Tri Pointe Homes in January was the first IPO in the homebuilding sector since 2004, according to Bloomberg. The company raised $233 million by pricing its IPO at $17 per share. Its IPO was another sign of the ongoing recovery of the housing market and the steady increase in home prices in the last two years. Another homebuilder, Taylor Morrison Home Corp., went public in April, raising $629 million.

3. SeaWorld Entertainment

SeaWorld Entertainment, which runs 11 theme parks that attracted 24 million guests in 2012, saw its shares jump 24 percent on its first day of trading from an IPO price of $27 per share. The company, now owned by the Blackstone Group after being held by beer giant Anheuser-Busch Inbev, is facing several headwinds. Its stock price fell in August after it lowered ticket prices due to dwindling attendance. Throughout the year the company has been fending off controversy connected to the film Blackfish, a documentary about the 2010 killing of a SeaWorld trainer that played at the Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on CNN in October.

2. Empire State Realty Trust

You can now own a piece of one of New York’s greatest landmarks. The Empire State Realty Trust, which operates the Empire State Building and 20 other New York properties, went public in October, raising $929.5 million for the company at a price an IPO price of $13 per share. It was the second-largest IPO ever for a real estate investment trust, according to Bloomberg. But the company will soon face competition filling its Midtown Manhattan offices when the One World Trade Center opens in 2014.
Twitter IPO
Andrew Gombert / EPA

1. Twitter

The most anticipated Internet IPO of the year was a success for both Twitter and Wall Street. The social network’s stock leapt 73 percent in its first day of trading, from $26 to $44.90. It was a stark contrast from Facebook’s IPO just a year and a half earlier, which was overpriced and suffered from technical glitches. Wall Street has granted Twitter a valuation of around $23 billion, in the league of Netflix and LinkedIn. Now the company, which has earned no profits, will have to prove it deserves it.

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