It’s tough out there for companies going public.
According to data from FactSet’s Andrew Birstingl, fewer firms have filed initial public offerings on US exchanges at this point in the year than in the same time period of any year since the midst of the financial crisis.
“During the first three quarters of this year, the number of initial public offerings stood at 73, which was a 45% decline from the same time period a year ago,” a note from Birstingl said. “This marked the lowest IPO count through the first three quarters of a year since 2009, when only 33 firms went public.”
Companies looking to go public typically wait for a smooth market in hopes of encouraging investors to buy into what is generally a volatile and risky event even in relatively calm times. So the shaky start to the year and turbulence around the UK’s vote to leave the European Union may have caused some companies to hold off.
Additionally, companies set an estimated price range for their shares a few weeks out from the IPO date, and few companies that have gone public this year have been able to price above those ranges.
“The percentage of initial public offerings through the end of Q3 that were priced above their initial range stood at 13.2%,” Birstingl wrote. “If this holds for the rest of the year, it would mark the lowest percentage since 2010.”
There is some good news. The pace of IPOs has increased as this year has progressed; while the first quarter of 2016 was particularly devoid of IPOs, with only nine, the number of IPOs in the third quarter was actually 16.7% higher than it was in the same quarter last year.