US companies are taking advantage of a window of opportunity in the stock market and ramping up share offerings as prices rise.
Secondary US equity sales came alive again last week, when 18 offerings were priced, more than at any time since mid-November. The collection was $2.6 billion, the most since the first week of January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The resurgence in deal flow follows investors’ renewed appetite for risk. The S&P 500 Index rose 9.1% in July, its best month since November 2020. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq 100 Index and Nasdaq Composite briefly advanced 20% from their June lows on Monday before retreating. A series of corporate acquisitions, which extended into this week, is helping fuel the rally.
“The better risk tolerance evident in the market action is largely responsible for this,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Gina Martin Adams said in an interview. “The strong rebound from the June lows, led by growth sectors and valuation multiples, may suggest to some that the environment for issuance has improved quite a bit, particularly in contrast to the steady pace of lower lows and compression. valuation evident for much of the first half of the year.”
Now, markets are waiting for Wednesday’s inflation report to see if an end to interest rate hikes is in sight and whether the rally in stocks will last.
Meanwhile, recent deals are trading well. Shares sold last week rose an average of 4.1% from their bid prices during the following session, Bloomberg data shows. That’s much better than the 1.3% average return from secondary offerings this year.
All but one of last week’s share offerings are cash-raising from a corporate issuer. Issuers earmarked the proceeds for uses including debt repayment, research and development, and acquisition financing, given the recovery in M&A activity along with that of the equity market.
About a third of deals last week came from the biotech sector, but a variety of industries were involved in the fundraising, including finance and utilities.
One area not yet experiencing a resurgence is IPOs, which is typically one of the slowest corners of the market to recover from a downturn. As of Monday, only two small US IPOs comprised this week’s issuance schedule.