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Alibaba IPO likely happening late September

Alibaba headquarters is shown in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Nelson Ching | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Alibaba headquarters is shown in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.

Alibaba did file an amended statement this morning, and it did contain some important items...except the most important ones: The price and size of the IPO.

The additional info was positive. Revenues were up 46.3 percent in the June quarter versus the June 2013 quarter. That's an increase from the prior quarter.

The key appears to be new mobile users. Thirty-three percent of its gross volume is purchased via mobile devices and 19.4% of its revenue, big increases from a year ago.

Read MoreAlibaba's arrival presaged by ever growing paper trail

The big issue is, when will we see terms? I noted this morning that the Street has been anticipating an IPO in mid-September, but a few months ago everyone had been anticipating an IPO in the first two weeks of August.

Once Alibaba files its terms (size and price), even an average IPO will take a week-and-a-half to get the roadshow together, but this is not an average IPO. Many IPO traders I spoke with said the sheer size of the offering (they will also be marketing this in Europe) mean sit could take two to three weeks for a roadshow to be completed.

So let's assume Alibaba files at the end of the day this Friday. Give it two weeks from Friday, assuming a rush, to complete a madhouse roadshow. Now you could conceivably make the week of September 15th, if you rush like mad.

That sounds like a stretch. If Alibaba announces terms next week, we are almost for sure into the week of September 22nd and beyond.

By the way, the Renaissance Capital IPO ETF (IPO) will be the first to own Alibaba because it can add large IPOs on a fast-entry basis. IPOs have been performing well recently, the IPO ETF is at the highest levels since March.

  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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