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Is hot market for IPOs cooling off?

Executives and guests of La Quinta Holdings applaud the opening bell April 9 in honor of the company's IPO. Associated Press file photo
Executives and guests of La Quinta Holdings applaud the opening bell April 9 in honor of the company's IPO. Associated Press file photo
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 08:00 am
NEW YORK – A hot market for initial public offerings may soon face a cooler reception from investors.IPOs are having their best start to a year since 2000. Eighty-nine companies have raised $19 billion through sales of new stock so far in 2014, according to Dealogic. But demand for more offerings depends largely on the health of the broader market, and after last week's sell-off, the clamor from buyers may quiet down.

Auto financing company Ally Financial and hotel operator La Quinta Holdings had lukewarm receptions for their IPOs last week.

La Quinta priced its shares at $17 each, lower than its expected range of $18 to $21, which suggested less demand. The stock rose slightly in its debut April 9, then fell the next two days to end the week below it original offer price. Ally, the largest IPO this year, priced its shares at $25 each, the bottom of its expected range of $25 to $28. The former financing arm of GM fell 4 percent in its premiere Thursday, closing at $23.98. On Monday, both stocks ended below their IPO price.

Some companies delayed their IPOs last week as the stock market turned bumpy. Paycom Software, a human resources software company, and City Office REIT, a real estate investment firm for office properties, were expected to launch. But their IPOs didn't happen and the companies are expected to try to complete them this week.

La Quinta and Ally were among 10 companies that raised $4.2 billion through IPOs last week, the third busiest for debuts in 2014. Another 12 companies are scheduled to launch stock this week.

The IPO market started recovering last year after being in the doldrums following the financial crisis and Great Recession. The Standard & Poor's 500 index surged almost 30 percent in 2013. That helped boost the appetite for new stocks.

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