Blackstone Group's public offering has drawn renewed attention to an IPO market that is on track for its best year since 2000.
Blackstone shares soared 13% on their first day of trading Friday. And though the stock has since traded below the offering price of the IPO -- which raised $5 billion and was oversubscribed by 10 times -- was nothing short of a success.
Some 108 companies have gone public so far in 2007, raising approximately $21.5 billion, according to Dealogic. The number of new offerings is up about 35% from the year-ago period when there were only 83 IPOs worth $19.7 billion.
"Based on the first half of 2007 the pipeline looks strong and we have got some great momentum," says Maria Pinelli, head of Americas growth strategy for Ernst & Young.
Nevertheless, the number of deals this year is a far cry from the speculative atmosphere of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when all the major indices were hitting historic highs. The all-time peak for the IPO market was in 2000, according to Dealogic, when a whopping $63.3 billion was raised from 214 issues.
And while that may seem peculiar given the record-breaking levels of today for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, the once high-flying Nasdaq remains about 50% below its record high set in March 2000, when virtually any tech IPO was a hit.