IPOs: Profiles Are High. What About Returns?
In recent months, investors have had the opportunity to buy shares of ride‑hailing networks Uber and Lyft, workplace productivity services Zoom and Slack, and other high-profile businesses ranging from Pinterest to Beyond Meat.
News outlets contribute to the frenzy, building anticipation, tracking the early hours of trading, and casting judgment on the IPO’s success. Investors, perhaps lured by tales of outsized returns, try to get in on the action early.
New Dimensional research reveals the fundamental challenges IPO investors face. They may not be able to trade during the early hours, when the biggest price movements frequently occur. Lockup periods also often restrict when shares held by early investors can be resold on secondary markets, which can meaningfully limit the available liquidity in the first six to 12 months after an IPO. And medium‑term IPO performance is often underwhelming.