The IPO market continued its moderate pace in March. The month produced nine IPOs, bringing the total for the first quarter of 2014 to 28 IPOs—the first quarter since the second quarter of 2013 not to produce at least 50 IPOs and the second lowest first quarter total over the last five years.

Gross proceeds in March were $1.45 billion, bringing total gross proceeds for the first three months of 2015 to $3.56 billion, 63% less than the $9.53 billion in gross proceeds raised over the first quarter of 2014. Only a single quarter since the third quarter of 2009 has produced lower gross proceeds than seen in the first three months of 2015.

All but two of the year’s IPOs have come from emerging growth companies (EGCs). In an unusual twist, one of the two non-EGCs was an EGC at the time of its first publicly filed registration statement and, accordingly, remained eligible to take advantage of an EGC’s reduced disclosure requirements through the effective date of its registration statement.

The first quarter of 2015 saw 17 IPOs by VC backed companies—61% of the total, up from 55% for full-year 2014. Life sciences companies have accounted for 15 IPOs over the first three months of 2015.

The median offering size for IPOs in the first quarter of 2015 was $76.5 million, a decline of 20% from the full-year 2014 figure of $96.0 million (and 24% below the $101.0 million median figure that prevailed over the five year period preceding 2015). The year-to-date median IPO offering size represents the lowest annual figure since the $61.6 million median IPO offering size in 2000.

With life sciences companies accounting for more than half of the first quarter’s IPOs, the median annual revenue for IPO companies fell by 53% from $68.2 million in 2014 to $32.0 million in the first quarter of 2015—the lowest annual figure since the $17.6 million median in 2000.

The percentage of profitable IPO companies declined from 36% in full-year 2014 to 21% over the first quarter of 2015. None of the life sciences company IPOs this year has been profitable.

The average IPO in the first quarter of 2015 produced a first day gain of 12%, just shy of the 14% first-day gain for the average IPO in 2014. Without the two “moonshots” at the end of January (IPOs that double in price on their opening day), however, the average 2015 first-day gain would be only 4%. The average IPO in February and March of 2015 produced a first-day gain of only 2%.

The first quarter of 2015 has seen 32% of IPOs “broken” (IPOs whose stock closes below the offering price on their first day), compared to 27% of IPOs that were broken for full-year 2014. Life sciences companies accounted for all but three of the broken IPOs in the first quarter of 2015.

The average 2015 IPO ended the month 18% above its offering price, outperforming both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite Index. At March month-end, 41% of all 2015 IPOs were trading below their offering price compared to 38% for all IPOs in 2014.

IPO activity in March consisted of offerings by the following companies listed in the order they came to market:

  • Summit Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel medicines for indications for which there are no existing or only inadequate therapies, priced below the expected price and ended its first trading day with a gain of 3% from its offering price.
  • MaxPoint Interactive, a provider of a leading business intelligence and marketing automation software service that enables national brands to drive local, in-store sales, priced at the midpoint of the range and declined 15% on its first trading day.
  • Summit Materials, one of the fastest growing construction materials companies in the United States, priced at the midpoint of the range and ended its first day of trading with a gain of 17%.
  • National Commerce, a bank holding company headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, priced an IPO upsized by 6% at the midpoint of the range and produced a first-day gain of 8%.
  • SteadyMed, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic product candidates that address the limitations of market-leading products in certain orphan and other well-defined, high-margin specialty markets, priced below the range and gained 1% from its offering price in first-day trading.
  • Cellectis, a pioneering gene-editing company, employing its core proprietary technologies to develop best-in-class products in the emerging field of immuno-oncology, priced a twice upsized IPO above the expected price and ended its first day of trading down 5% from its offering price.
  • Franklin Financial Network, a bank holding company headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, priced below the range and ended its first day of trading flat.
  • SolarEdge Technologies, a provider of an intelligent inverter solution that has changed the way power is harvested and managed in a solar photovoltaic system, priced at the high end of the range and gained 15% from its offering price in first-day trading.
  • GoDaddy, a provider of website building, hosting and security tools to help customers easily construct and protect their online presence, priced above the range and ended its first day of trading with a gain of 31%.