7 Beaten-Down IPOs that Could Stage a Comeback

A fair number of initial public offerings (IPOs) have flourished in this choppy market . Indian travel site MakeMyTrip (Nasdaq: MMYT), up as much as +66% in its first day of trading Thursday, and rental housing software firm RealPage (Nasdaq: RP), up +30%, are two of the latest examples.

But woe be to any new IPO that falls out of favor. If an IPO moves below its offering price in short order, it can quickly be forgotten — that is, until value investors start to show interest while searching for a bargain. These broken IPOs can stay down for a while, but for long-term focused investors, this can be a fertile area for further research.

As the accompanying table shows, April 22nd is a day that will live in infamy for this group. Four of the seven lagging IPOs went public on that star-crossed day. (As a bit of trivia, six stocks went public that day in all, the highest one-day amount since 2007.)

Company Name (Ticker) Recent Price IPO Price IPO Date (2010) Percent
Mitel Networks
(Nasdaq: MITL)
$7.22 $14.00 4/22 -48% 6.9
Codexis (Nasdaq: CDXS) $7.97 $13.00 4/22 -39% N/A
Global GeoPhysical
$6.69 $12.00 4/22 -44% N/A
Alimera Sciences
(Nasdaq: ALIM)
$6.74 $11.00 4/22 -39% N/A
CBOE Holdings
(Nasdaq: CBOE)
$23.38 $29.00 6/15 -19% 22.3
Motoricity (Nasdaq: MOTR) $7.50 $10.00 6/18 -25% 20.8
Smart Technologies
(Nasdaq: SMT)
$12.60 $17.00 7/20 -26% N/A

Below is a closer look at a few interesting names from the list…

Mitel (Nasdaq: MITL)
When we last looked at Mitel in early June in a previous survey of poorly performing IPOs, I noted that shares seemed very cheap at five times next year’s EBITDA. [See These ‘Broken’ IPOs May be Worth another Look]  Despite that rock-bottom valuation, shares have fallen further, making this one of the worst IPO performers of the past few years.

#-ad_banner-#As I noted back then, Mitel’s customer base of small to medium-sized businesses meant that sales would likely only rebound once an economic expansion spread across many sectors. Sure enough, fiscal (June) fourth quarter revenue grew just +1% from the prior year. Yet that stalled revenue base still proved to be profitable. On a full year basis, this provider of telephony systems posted roughly $50 million in operating income.

Mitel also recently admitted that sales remain a bit weak, and management lowered fiscal first quarter sales guidance by about -3% to around $160 million. That’s right where sales have been stuck for the past five quarters. The company should generate solid profits off of that sales base, but investors will clearly stay on the sidelines until growth is in evidence.

Motricity (Nasdaq: MOTR)
At first glance, this should have been a hot IPO. Motricity was an early pioneer in the field of mobile phone data services. The company works with most of the major wireless service providers, including AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) to help support and deliver phone applications. But considering the explosive growth seen in the field, investors may have been turned off by the fact that Motricity’s top-line is only growing at a +10% to +15% rate.

But analysts at Needham argue that Motricity’s best days are still ahead. They expect sales to rise nearly +30% next year as many of its projects come to fruition and the company is better able to recognize revenue against those contracts. And with a fairly fixed cost base, the company should show even more impressive bottom-line growth.

Sure enough, just-released second quarter numbers show that EBITDA doubled on a sequential basis and should rise a bit further in coming quarters as well. Needham’s Mark May sees shares rising to $11 — nearly +40% above current levels — once investors come to see the steady and rising cash flow that the company will likely generate throughout the coming year. If you’re looking to play the smart phone opportunity, Motricity looks like a stock for further research.

Smart Technologies (Nasdaq: SMT)
With Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) as a backer and a successful 13-year track record in online collaboration software known as white-boarding, you’d think this $660 million IPO would have found favor with investors. But perhaps the deal was simply too large for investors to digest, which may explain why the shares opened weakly and have been under their IPO price ever since.

White-boarding uses the Internet and software such as PowerPoint to draw and manipulate figures on the screen. It’s a lower-cost approach than some of the more sophisticated touch-screen oriented collaboration software tools. The company’s main suite of software has found a solid following; helping push annual sales past the $600 million mark in the fiscal year ending this March. Equally impressive, net profit margins exceed 20% and could rise even higher if the company can boost annual sales toward the $800 million mark by next year, as analysts predict.

Smart hopes to boost market share in the education, government and corporate markets. Yet in the near-term, the company faces some real pressures. Education budgets are being slashed, as are budgets in the government and corporate sectors as well. So after a solid run of growth while operating as a private company, Smart may be seeing some real headwinds now that it’s public. Those headwinds are unlikely to last too long, as white-boarding is seen as a real productivity booster. Perhaps shares will find new favor when the company releases quarterly results after the markets close this afternoon.

Action to Take –> These stocks have moved out of the IPO spotlight and off investors’ radars, making it a fine time to study their quarterly results and see if the shares have been unfairly punished. Mitel won’t likely rebound before 2011 or 2012, but Motricity and Smart Technologies could rebound quicker if the companies can deliver on expectations of strong profit growth.