US Markets

Nasdaq CEO: Could've done better on SecureWorks, but at least IPOs are pricing

See some signs of life in IPOs: Nasdaq CEO

Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld acknowledged on Wednesday that the initial public offering for information security firm SecureWorks could have gone better, but he pointed to a silver lining: at least IPOs are finally pricing.

In the first IPO of a U.S. technology company in 2016, SecureWorks raised $120 million, less than it had hoped for, amid investor skepticism over its profit margins and prospects. The stock slid in the session after last week's IPO.

Joe Stewart, director of malware research at Dell SecureWorks, a unit of Dell Inc., works on multiple computer screens at his office in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S., Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.
SecureWorks prices IPO at $14 a share, missing expectations

"You have to understand that … in the first quarter, we had a lot of IPOs that tried to get out, that did not get out because the window was completely shut," Greifeld told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Ten IPOs priced on the Nasdaq exchange in the first quarter, which Greifeld called subpar. The exchange has about 120 IPOs on file waiting to debut, he said.

In Greifeld's view, companies with strong economic performance and those with "pure innovation," such as biotech start-ups, have a good chance of going public in the current market.

Greifeld spoke after the Nasdaq Group beat quarterly earnings profit forecasts, though revenues came in just shy of expectations.

The stock exchange operator reported adjusted quarterly profit of 91 cents per share on revenues of $534 million. A consensus estimate had seen profits coming in at 89 cents on revenues of $535 million.

"We're doing well. We've picked the proper businesses to diversify in, and in the businesses we are competing in, we're gaining share," Greifeld said. "Certainly it shows the diversification of our model. We had a great quarter without any real IPOs."

—Reuters contributed to this story.