2014 IPO Update: A Look at the Debutantes

by Crestmark 18. August 2014 05:29

Believe it or not, 2014 is already more than half over. It started out with a bang when sixteen companies had their financial coming out parties in January, and it's been a busy year ever since. There are 135 initial public offerings (IPOs) on the books so far for 2014. The step from being a privately held company to IPO has had a positive effect on some, but for others – not so much. Let's take a look at five debutantes of 2014 to see how they've fared.

                     stock market

Parsley Energy

Parsley Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PE), based in Midland, Texas, went public on the NYSE on Friday, May 23, 2014. With operations in the Midland Basin, the independent oil and gas company has grown significantly from a two-person start-up in 2008 to a solid producer of 12,000 barrels of oil per day. Parsley's initial offering of 50 million shares made their market entrance at $18.50. They closed last week at $23.73 with 117.81 million shares.

ServiceMaster

ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:SERV) debuted with an opening share price of $17 on Wednesday, June 25. It closed at $17.95 on its first day. The commercial and residential maintenance and service provider started with an initial offering of 35.9 million shares. As of Monday, June 30, it was selling at $18.75 per share.

Eagle Pharmaceuticals 

Not all IPOs have done as well as they'd hoped. Eagle Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:EGRX) went public on Wednesday, Feb. 12. It sold 3.4 million shares. The New Jersey-based company opened at $15, closing on its first day at just $12.83. It has rebounded a bit, bumping up to $13.57 as of Monday, June 30. Eagle Pharmaceuticals, founded in 2007, develops and commercializes injectable drugs for oncology and critical care medicine. 

Malibu Boats

Based in Malibu, Tennessee, this sporting boats manufacturer has made modest gains as one of the early IPO debutantes of 2014. Malibu Boats (NASDAQ:MBUU) opened at $14 on its first day, Friday, Jan. 31, closing at $17.03. It sold 7.1 million shares. As of June 30, the recreational boating industry continues to embrace Malibu, as its stock price was holding at $20.03. 

GoPro

One of the biggest splashes in IPOs for 2014 has been GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO). The innovative highline sports camera maker has gained a lot of attention with its recent offering, opening at $24 on Thursday, June 26. With much excitement around its first day, it closed at $31.34. It sold 17.8 million shares. As of June 30, GoPro was selling at $35.76. 

As IPOs continue to garner attention in 2014, with many companies planning to go public before 2015there's hope for upcoming public offerings for the rest of the year. For companies that seek an increase in funding, the market has shown promise for some, but for others, it's just been a struggle.Going public isn’t the only way to raise funding, however – if your business is in need of working capital, call us today to talk about options - we are happy to help! 


 

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The Shifting Role of E-Commerce in the U.S. Economy

by Crestmark 11. August 2014 09:56

The Internet's impact on the U.S. economy is always growing. The share of online sales is slowly creeping up as the share of brick-and-mortar retailers continues to decline year over year.

E-tailers See Growth

A recent study by the Centre for Retail Research estimates that the online retail share of sales in the U.S. is expected to hit 11.6 percent this year. The figures for nine major countries, including G-8 nations France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, were based on estimated online retail sales of goods. This is good news for U.S. e-tailers, who rely on 55 percent of the country's population to shop online. Online sales that were ordered via mobile devices are estimated to be as much as 13.8 percent for 2013, and are expected to rise to 19.9 percent this year. These figures didn't even include restaurant food, insurance, tickets, and gambling purchases.

                                                     

E-commerce Sales Are Up 

The U.S. Census Bureau has also announced that for the first quarter of 2014, the total retail e-commerce sales are up 2.8 percent over the fourth quarter of 2013. That's in increase of $71.2 billion. The estimate is adjusted for seasonal variation, not price changes. When compared to the first quarter of 2013, the increase is 15 percent. Unadjusted, the year-over-year comparison is an increase of 14.9 percent for e-tailers, and an increase of 2.2 percent for all retail sales.

Retail Storefronts Decline during E-commerce Rise

While e-commerce increases amid promising signs of an economic recovery in the U.S., more retailers are expected to close their brick-and-mortar storefronts. Staples, Inc. has announced that it plans to close 225 office supply stores by the end of next year. RadioShack, known for selling electronic gadgets and trending tech toys, announced in March that as many as 1,100 of its stores worldwide would close. In recent weeks, however, the company has decreased that number, citing disagreements with its lenders over the best way to manage its poor performance. According to reports by USA Today, RadioShack announced a loss of $191 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 over its 5,524 stores and dealer outlets. With 4,300 brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S., the company still plans to close a large number of stores, but no longer one-fifth of its locations.

The shift from retail storefronts to ecommerce business is hardly over, as there’s dust still left to settle in the broader shopping landscape. This transition is likely to bring more innovation to the marketplace, with brick and mortar stores finding new and creative ways to serve their customers, and internet based businesses working to take market share away from those same companies. This type of healthy competition is great for consumers though, and we look forward to seeing how things play out for the rest of 2014!     


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What Type of Lender is Right for My Business?

by Crestmark 10. July 2014 05:54

When business owners or executives first realize the need for working capital, it can be difficult to know where to start. People often ask, “Should I call my local bank? What about non-traditional lenders? What’s the difference between the two?” We hear this all the time, and wanted to provide a resource to help! 

We recently released an Infographic titled “What Type of Lender is Right for My Business?” This provides a quick and easy reference piece for prospective borrowers to determine whether they’d be better suited pursuing a traditional bank line of credit, or to look into alternative financing. Each lending option has unique characteristics, and this infographic helps clarify how different business situations are best suited for certain lending options. 

The infographic follows a flow-chart format, and leads users through a series of yes / no choices about their business. Key points that determine the right fit include: 

- Does your business have three or more years of positive business history?

- Do you have limited or negative equity?

- Do you have limited or inconsistent profitability?

- Do your assets exceed your liabilities?

- Does your business have positive trends?

- Are there opportunities for growth?

By answering each of these questions, it’s easy to see whether your business may qualify for traditional or non-traditional lending. We are excited about this release, and hope that many businesses find this useful! 

              is alternate lending right for my business

Are you in the market for a business loan? If so, ask yourself the questions on this infographic and then give us a call to discuss! We’d love to help walk you through the process of figuring out what lending option would be best for you and your business. 

 

 

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Grad Students Take the Lion's Share of Rising Student Loan Debt

by Crestmark 2. July 2014 09:42

Students getting college degrees are borrowing more money to complete their educations than they have in the past. Student loans have topped $1 trillion. A study recently released by the New America Foundation shows that student loan debt is outpacing all other types of loans except for residential mortgages. Students seeking advanced degrees comprise only 17 percent of student loan borrowers, but they're getting the lion's share of the money.

  


The study revealed that grad students borrowed an average of $57,600 in 2012, as compared to just $40,209 in 2004. That's an increase of 43 percent in just eight years. Students are hoping that advanced degrees will give them better employment opportunities in a struggling economy.

After completing an undergraduate program, many students are finding it difficult to land a job. The philosophy is that going back to school to get a higher degree will make them more competitive in the workforce. A bachelor's degree is no longer enough for some careers. The New America Foundation research showed that some students with master's degrees weren't necessarily getting higher salaries, just hoping to get the edge over the competition. How much they borrowed was directly related to their field of interest.

For example, students borrowing money for Master of Arts degrees dropped $58,500 in 2012, for an average of $20,500 more per student. On the other hand, the average student financing a business administration master's program in 2012 borrowed $42,000, only $600 more than their counterpart in 2004.

According to non-profit American Student Assistance, of the 20 million students attending college every year, about 12 million borrow money to help cover their expenses. The consumer Finance Protection Bureau reports that of the more than $1 trillion in student loans, $150 billion comes from private lenders, and the other $864 billion is connected to federal funding.

 

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Understanding Your Business' Buying Cycle and Making the Most of It

by Crestmark 9. June 2014 11:50

Making sales is part of running your day-to-day business – it’s what brings in revenue and keeps the business moving forward. We all hope that customers come to us ready to buy, but in reality, there’s a lot more to it than that.

 buying cycle

The traditional buying cycle is broken down into three segments that your customers move through in the process of making a purchase. By understanding your business' buying cycle, you can take the right steps and make the most of it.

Awareness

The first step in the buying cycle is when potential customers discover that they have a need for your product. They're not ready to buy, but they are aware of their need and your potential to fill that need. You can find these potential customers through marketing efforts and by increasing awareness of your brand. Introduce yourself. Capture their attention without pushing for a sale. The use of email newsletters, blogs, and direct mail alerts about upcoming sales are examples of the soft, but necessary, approach during this fragile part of the buying cycle.

Consideration

During this second phase of the buying process, your potential customers are seeking information. They're considering a purchase and want to be educated about your company and your products. The availability of information is critical in this stage. Prospects are likely to read customer reviews, visit your website for product descriptions and make comparisons of their options. Their sense of urgency has elevated beyond curiosity, and this stage is often triggered by an event that sparks an increased interest. For example, they may have run out of an item or have an upcoming project where use of your product could make or break their success.

Identify the various triggers that prompt people to buy your products and make it known that you can provide solutions to these problems. Build website and newsletter content around these issues. Make testimonials from previous customers available and accessible for those in the second step of the buying cycle. Quench their thirst for information, and continue to build their trust.

Making a Purchase

When someone is ready to buy, you need to be ready to sell. Customers want attention in this third and final phase. If they already have a contact for your company, it's important that this person is available or that your customer can somehow initiate the sale right away. Providing around-the-clock automated ordering or live support is another option to help your customers make their purchases when they're ready. Information about forms of payment and how to contact your company should be visible on all of your marketing materials and on your website to capture the lead and close the sale.

Identifying and understanding how your customers fit into the buying cycle can help your business gain qualified leads and increase your sales. So take a look at your business – what can you do to improve your customers experience in each of these stages? The proper planning and implementation here can be a huge step forward for any business.

 

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