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Small IPOs Point to Rising Investor Confidence: JMP’s Lehmann

Small IPOs Point to Rising Investor Confidence: JMP’s Lehmann

As we approach the halfway mark of what has so far been an outstanding year for stocks, when it comes to the performance of the IPO market, the jury, so to speak, is far more split. According to data compiled by Renaissance Capital, 77 IPO's have been priced so far this year, which marks an 11.6% increase from the point in 2012.

But at the same time, Renaissance reports that the proceeds of those deals are running about $17.2 billion or 38% less than the year ago period.

Related: IPO Scorecard for 2013

"I think it tells you a couple of things. One, is that investors are willing to buy the deals, which is a (good) sign and the deals are working," says Mark Lehmann, president and director of equities at JMP Securities, in the attached video. "And the second thing is, issuers are thinking that the equity markets are where you want to get fresh capital, and I think that is also a sign that they think things are better going forward."

While Lehmann says there is evidence that some "more seasoned" companies, such as Twitter, are currently holding off on going public, he likes the fact that smaller companies and smaller deals seem to be hot again.

Related: SeaWorld Dives Into Wall Street's Public Pool

"I think that is a positive because you have a group of investors that are willing to look at more small and mid-sized growth companies and bet on them going forward as the place to get outsized gains," he says.

And it also points to a general increase in risk tolerance.

"Investors are willing to look at smaller companies," he says, pointing out that "the reward is there, if you're willing to play."