By Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- November will go down in history as the best bumper crop of initial public offerings in four years, as a market pundit forecast a continued appetite for new issues heading into 2007.
With total dollar proceeds of about $7.5 billion, November is shaping up to be the richest month since March 2002 in the IPO market, according to Thomson data.
Major deals during the month were led by the billion-dollar debuts of Hertz Global Holding /zigman2/quotes/200655672/composite HTZ -4.28% , Spirit Aerosystems /zigman2/quotes/205043289/composite SPR +21.34% as well as hefty deals from Nymex Holdings Inc. , First Solar Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209356097/composite FSLR +3.34% , KBR Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204737382/composite KBR +4.41% and even Thursday's debut from Mexican airport operator OMA /zigman2/quotes/206093205/composite OMAB +3.34% . See full story.
The biggest dollar-volume month was April 2000, when 32 IPOs raised $14.6 billion, followed by June 2001, when 14 deals raised $9.9 billion. In March 2002, eight IPOs raised $8.5 billion.
Larry Puglia, manager of the T. Rowe Price Blue Chip Growth Fund /zigman2/quotes/208533233/realtime TRBCX +0.42% , said that the market continues to be more receptive to both IPOs and secondary stock. "If they have good growth and people feel comfortable with their business models, IPOs should perform well."
Puglia added that IPO traffic still lags behind the most bullish years of 1999-2000, because it's harder now for companies to go public. "We like a market where companies can get IPOs done, but not easily," he commented. "There's a quality hurdle nowadays."
An eclectic batch of offerings remain as possible candidates in the market for new issues, as it moves into the holiday season.
This year's crop of about 180 IPOs have turned in a year-to-date gain of 17.8% as of Monday's close, according to Thomson Financial.
That's better than the 13.1% rise from the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +2.05% and the 9.1% gain from the Nasdaq Composite Index .
Among the small-cap IPOs under consideration for the rest of the year are the following:
Heelys, a profitable maker of trendy sneakers with wheels in their heels;
Local Matters, an Internet firm competing in the local-advertising market;
NGTV, a small cable-TV content producer chaired by former Kiss front man Gene Simmons;
IPG Photonics, a profitable laser firm;
Double Take Software -- a maker of software for Microsoft servers that posted net income this year.