IPO Market In U.S. Gain Steam With Most Active Month In Four Years

It is no secret the IPO market in the United States has rebounded solidly since the middle of last year.

Well, here is something you may not know: first-time stock offerings continue to gain steam, as well. So far this month, 21 deals were done with $5.6 billion raised for issuing companies and investors logging an average return of 18% on shares floated, according to Renaissance Capital.

Over the same period, 31 companies filed S-1s with the Securities and Exchange Commission, making it the most active month since 40 companies filed in August 2007.

Half of the month’s new filings took place in the past week, says Renaissance in a blog post this week. This pace suggests the momentum is likely to continue.

Recent filings and deals show a diverse market place. Here are several of the completed and proposed transactions (chart above is a one-year snapshot of trading in the 2010 IPO of shares in Tesla Motors):

*Arcos Dorados, a McDonald’s franchisee in Latin America, was the largest transaction completed during the month, raising $1.2 billion;
*Renren, a Chinese social networking site, filed an initial offering to raise $531 million;
*Zillow filed to raise $52 million. The online real estate site has information on 100 million homes and generated $31 million in sales last year;
*Trustwave, a Chicago developer of compliance management software, filed to raise up to $100 million. It had sales of $112 million last year;
*BrightSource Energy plans to raise up to $250 million. The developer of solar thermal plants is building its first plant in southern California;
*KiOR, a biofuels company, plans to raise up to $100 million.

Company quality is likely to remain good for a while. Watch for this to change, however…