More Firms Postpone or Cancel Their IPOs

From Reuters

The list of withdrawn or delayed initial public stock offerings grew longer Wednesday as the broader market continued to struggle.

Claria Corp., an online marketing and advertising company based in Redwood City, Calif., canceled plans for a $150-million IPO citing “market conditions.”

PlanetOut Inc., a San Francisco firm that operates websites for the gay community, said it was delaying its planned IPO. Transportation Technologies Industries Inc., a Chicago-based manufacturer of components for large trucks, also said it would postpone a planned offering.

Thirty-three IPOs have been postponed or withdrawn this year, including seven in the last week, according to data firm Thomson Financial.


Many other companies pursuing IPOs have been forced to lower their offering prices -- reducing the amount of capital raised.

“More than half the deals this quarter have come in below the low end of the [estimated] range,” said Richard Peterson, chief market strategist at Thomson Financial.

Westlake Chemical Corp. of Houston decided Tuesday to go ahead with its deal, selling 11.8 million shares at $14.50 each -- well below the expected price range of $16 to $18.

The stock rose 15 cents Wednesday to $14.65 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Another IPO that began trading Wednesday got a rougher reception: Sacramento-based Placer Sierra Bancshares fell to $19.50 a share on Nasdaq from its offering price of $20 on Tuesday.

The biggest test for the IPO market is ahead: The auction of shares in Internet search giant Google Inc. is expected to begin as early as Friday.