Dick’s Sporting Goods Breaks IPO Drought –

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. was the only venture-backed company to go public during October 2002, but at least, the Pittsburgh-based sporting goods retailer ended a two-month long drought of no venture-backed IPO pricings.

Not only was Dick’s Sporting Goods the first venture-backed IPO to price since July, it was also the first consumer retailer to test the public waters since Atlanta-based non-venture-backed baby apparel maker Cater Holdings Inc. hit the market August 23.

Prior to Dick’s Sporting Goods’ IPO, only HealtheTech managed to make its debut on the public market in July, and the third quarter marked the lowest IPO tally since the second quarter of 1978.

Dick’s Sporting Goods raised $87.5 million, bringing the total number of venture-backed initial public offerings for the year to 20 and the total offering amount to $2.27 billion. In comparison, there were five venture-backed IPOs in October 2001, raising $401 million. The average issue size of the deals so far this year is $115 million, a $40 million increase from the $75 million average for the same period last year.

Of the 30 venture-backed companies that went public between November 2001 and October 2002, 12 or 40% were trading at or above their IPO prices. Three companies showed price increases of 71.8% or greater since their initial offering. JetBlue Corp., a discount airline, held the top-gainer spot, rising by 124.4%. Centene Corp., a Medicaid HMO, followed with a 117.4% increase, and Amerigroup Corp., another HMO, rounded out the top three with a 71.8% price rise.