Big IPOs to Keep an Eye Out for Later This Year

GoDaddy signage and Danica Patrick's race car announce the company's IPO, in front of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Richard Drew/APWeb-services provider went public in April on the New York Stock Exchange.
The market for IPOs has been pretty thin so far in 2015, at least compared to its predecessor. 2014 was one of the best years for new stock issues in history, with companies arriving on the market at a pace that was difficult to keep up with at times.

But judged on its own merits, 2015 has actually been rather lively. According to data compiled by IPO specialist Renaissance Capital, so far 68 IPOs have been priced, with total proceeds raised of over $12 billion.

And some of these new stocks are from very familiar companies -- Web services provider GoDaddy (GDDY), trendy hamburger chain Shake Shack (SHAK) and online crafts and hobbies portal Etsy (ETSY) have all hit the exchanges this year.

Several other big names are primed to make their market debuts by the time we drink New Year's Champagne. Here's a look at three issues that are sure to get plenty of attention.


This well-known electronic payments system is getting ready for what is to be its second IPO. The first was in 2002, but PayPal didn't last long as an independent, publicly traded company. Auction powerhouse eBay (EBAY) snapped it up for a cool $1.5 billion and has operated it as a subsidiary ever since.

That was a good move. PayPal is the engine driving eBay's growth. In Q1 2015 the division saw its net revenue rise by 14 percent on a year-over-year basis, while the top line of the marketplace segment (i.e., the auctions and sales eBay is known for) declined by 4 percent.

With that kind of performance, it was perhaps inevitable that investors would demand that PayPal be spun off into an independent company (in order to theoretically be freed from the drag of marketplace's lackluster growth). Management is heeding the call, and once again PayPal is to become a standalone company.

In its latest public communication on the subject, the subsidiary didn't provide a more specific time frame for its IPO than "the second half of this year." It did reveal that it'll have the same ticker symbol -- PYPL -- and trade on the same exchange -- the Nasdaq -- as it did during its brief, publicly traded life in 2002.


This maker of a range of activity trackers is perfectly poised to take advantage of the high popularity of these products with its upcoming IPO.

On the back of its successful offerings, which include the Flex, Charge and Surge, the company's revenue has ballooned lately. Its $745 million in revenue for fiscal 2014 was a whopping 175 percent higher than the previous year's figure.

That's not all that unusual for a middle-stage, tech-slanting company, but a bottom-line profit is. Fitbit netted one amounting to nearly $132 million last year.

Several financial heavyweights like those numbers. Big-time investment banks Morgan Stanley (MS), Bank of America (BAC) Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank (DB) Securities are lead-managing the firm's IPO.

The issue has been filed with the Securities and Exchange, but the company hasn't yet specified how many shares it'll sell, what price they might be listed at, or the IPO date. Fitbit did say it intends to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FIT. In its S-1 filing FitBit says its mission is to "[help] people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration, and guidance to reach their goals." As of of March 31, 2015, it had sold more than 20.8 million devices.

Fogo de Chao

Another hot area on the stock market is the restaurant sector, so the IPO of this chain of Brazilian steak houses seems well-timed.

Food service IPOs are becoming more plentiful than a sack of french fries because some restaurant stocks have performed spectacularly after debuting on the market.

The model here is Tex-Mex chain Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG). This well-liked burrito chain hasn't only grown its revenue and profit many-fold over the years, but its sock is one of the best-performing stocks over its lifetime. It's risen nearly 1,300 percent since its 2006 IPO. By comparison, the S&P 500 has increased 64 percent.

The 35-restaurant strong Fogo de Chao has numerous competitive advantages. It'll be the only traditional Brazilian restaurant chain on the exchange, for one. For another, it's also a money-maker, growing its top line by a meaty 30 percent from fiscal years 2012 to 2014. It flipped to a net profit of $17.6 million in the latter year.

The company hasn't specified a particular date for its IPO, but it stated in a regulatory filing that it would like to draw proceeds up to $75 million. The stock will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol FOGO, and the lead underwriters are JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) J.P. Morgan unit and Leucadia's (LUK) Jefferies.

Motley Fool contributor Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America, Chipotle Mexican Grill, eBay and Leucadia. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Chipotle Mexican Grill, eBay, Etsy, JPMorgan Chase and Leucadia. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out our free report on one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.
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