5 of This Year's Hottest IPOs

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The IPO market has been a scorcher through the first three months of 2012.

Demand has been so hot that a mobile advertising provider that went public last week -- scoring the biggest opening-day pop that the market has seen since last May -- still wasn't one of the first quarter's best-performing IPOs.

It's been a good year to go public. Sure, there have been a few implosions, but let's take a closer look at the five biggest gainers among companies that went public this past quarter.

Company

IPO

March 30, 2012

Gain

Guidewire (NYS: GWRE) $13$30.78137%
Brightcove (NAS: BCOV) $11$24.80126%
Proto Labs (NYS: PRLB) $16$34.09113%
Demandware (NYS: DWRE) $16$29.8086%
Annie's (NYS: BNNY) $19$34.8483%

Source: Dealogic.

Let's take a closer look at the winners.

Guidewire Software provides software solutions for property and casualty insurers. It had a strong IPO in January, but moved even higher last month after posting blowout quarterly results.

Brightcove offers a popular Web-based platform for publishing and distributing digital video. All five of the lead underwriters that took the company public initiated coverage with bullish remarks last week. They may be biased, but it's still encouraging to hear.

Proto Labs claims to be the fastest producer of injection molding and computer numerical control machined parts. It can fulfill a submitted order in as little as a single day. Proto Labs is growing and profitable. Adjusted earnings climbed 53% to $0.98 a share last year.

Demandware -- a provider of cloud-based data-management solutions for e-commerce -- popped 58% higher on its first public trade last month. It has naturally gone on to head even higher.

Finally, we have Annie's. The maker of organic retail edibles is growing at a healthy pace for a food company. Revenue climbed 22% in fiscal 2011, inching another 21% higher through the first nine months of fiscal 2012 (which ended last week).

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At the time this article was published The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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