Technology, healthcare, and materials initial public offerings registered the highest issuance in 2021, largely mirroring M&A transactions, according to an analysis by EY. Technology raked in $72.2 billion in proceeds, following by healthcare’s $32.2 billion and materials’ $3.1 billion. All in, new listings amounted to a record 416 across the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange, raising $155.7 billion for newly public companies.
While investment banks typically set prices such that new listings exceed target listing ranges, last year’s incoming class of public companies was particularly impressive with three quarters of issuers clearing that bar. That means big returns for investors. In fact, the average IPO that exceeded its range, by clocking 20 percent returns within one month of trading, though volatility ate into those gains by year’s end.
“The health of the U.S. IPO market in 2022 will depend, at least in part, on continued pricing strength and improving aftermarket performance,” EY’s note reads.
Bright spots in the new year are the same as the old, EY predicts. Tech and healthcare should continue to constitute the bulk of deal value, though other sectors could also have their moments in the sun. Should the pandemic abate and the market rationalize interest rate increases, there’s a real prospect that investors could become more hospitable to new offerings in financials, consumer, and even retail, EY says.
That could mean the broad-based recovery already evident in so many economic indicators can finally shine through market volatility. Time will tell.