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Professional Diversity Network IPO Struggles

Chris Preston

Professional Diversity Network’s (IPDN) IPO fell flat in its market debut yesterday, getting the March initial public offerings market off to an inauspicious start.

The first stock to go public on a U.S. market in nearly three weeks, the Professional Diversity Network IPO declined 4% in its first day of trading and is down another 5.6% today. That doesn’t bode well for the provider of online networking and job opportunities for minorities, which went public below its expected range at $8 a share.

It was also a lukewarm kickoff for the March IPO market on the heels of a busy first two months of 2013. Twelve companies went public in January – the most since 2006. February brought another eight IPOs – less than the last two Februarys, but more than the previous three.

The returns have been even better. Year-to-date, the 21 companies that have gone public have returned an average of more than 15%. Only five of them have actually fallen since their debuts – another bad sign for Professional Diversity Network.

Up next on the IPO schedule are Artisan Partners Asset Management , a Wisconsin-based investment management business, and Silver Spring Networks , which provides smart grid products and services. According to IPO web site Renaissance Capital, no other public offerings are in the hopper – which could bode for a slower March than in recent years.

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