The Best IPOs of the Year: GNC Takes the Lead

During the second half of 2011, investor’s seemed to lack enthusiasm for companies that had recently gone public. However, the start to the new year brought increased activity and investment for several star IPOs.

Leading the way was GNC Holdings. “GNC Holdings, the parent company of the specialty retailer that sells nutritional supplements, raised $360 million March 31 and never looked back, surging 74% through Dec. 16.” I find it a little coincidental and comical that GNC would see outstanding growth into the new year. The correlation between New Year’s resolutions, and the fiscal new year, places pictures of investors hurrying to GNC to get protein shakes into my head. The fact is that GNC’s loyal customer base and gold card program provides a level of security for investors in an uncertain time. Anyone living an active lifestyle will at least be taking a multivitamin and whey protein.

Social media platforms seem to be a dime a dozen. These .com offerings pale in comparison to the trail blazers of internet IPOs around the turn of the millennium. However, there are still profitable offerings.

“The IPO research boutique also points out that while Internet stocks are making a comeback – Bankrate, Groupon, LinkedIn and Zynga raised a combined $2.4 billion – the 24 that went public is hardly bubbly compared to 1999 (212 offerings) and 2000 (114) and the enthusiasm for the deals faded post-offering with the average new issue in the space down 18%.” 

That being said, LinkedIn saw an increase of 46 percent, and combined with Zynga, Groupon, and Bankrate, raised $2.4 billion in internet growth. There are definitely some gems out on the interweb. Investors need to find a social media or e-retail platform that provides a unique utility compared to powerhouses such as Facebook, Twitter,, etc.

With 2012 just a few days away there is still no way to know how the market will do in the upcoming New Year. Theres buzz of Facebook potentially going public. What a monster IPO that would be…

Source: Steve Schaefer.


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