Feb 6, 2019 - Economy

2019 is expected to be a good year for IPOs

Adapted from a BDO report; Chart: Axios Visuals
Adapted from a BDO report; Chart: Axios Visuals

Despite messaging app Slack reportedly opting for a direct listing rather than an initial public offering, investors still expect 2019 to be a good year for IPOs.

What they're saying: Of the 100 bankers polled for BDO's 2019 IPO Outlook Survey, 71% expected that 2019 would match or outpace 2018's IPO activity.

  • Tech is expected to lead the way with 71% of respondents saying they see the number of IPOs in the sector increasing, followed by biotech and healthcare. Conversely, 49% of those polled expect consumer retail to see a reduced number of IPOs this year.

Yes, but: The optimism came in the face of declining data and expectations by 52% of bankers for a market correction in 2019. The survey was taken during December's stock market swoon, the worst month for the S&P since the Great Depression.

Other takeaways from BDO's survey:

  • 42% of bankers believe IPO activity in 2019 will increase, 29% expect it to stay roughly the same as 2018, and 28% expect IPO activity to decrease.
  • 12% of bankers say the pricing of a Unicorn like Uber or Lyft will be the most likely factor to spur increased IPO activity overall this year.
  • 37% expect private equity portfolios to generate the most IPOs this year; 35% see venture capital as the top source.
  • 12% of bankers view ICOs as a threat to traditional IPOs, down from 19% in 2017.
  • 61% of bankers expect the average size of U.S. IPOs will be between $200 million–$299 million, on par with 2018 averages.

More than half of those surveyed said it was the pro-business climate of the Trump administration and increased confidence in the U.S. economy that would spur the increase in newly public companies this year.

Go deeper: Breaking down the Uber-Lyft-Slack IPO rush

Go deeper