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The 5 top performing IPOs of 2019

Daniel Howley
Technology Editor

To say 2019 had some high-flying companies hit the stock market is an understatement. But underperforming, big-name unicorns like Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT), and SmileDirectClub (SDC) have left Wall Street with a bad taste in its mouth thanks to double-digit declines from their IPO prices.

Still, a number of other firms that launched their IPOs in 2019 have seen some impressive gains. We’re talking about the type of stock price growth that most companies and investors could only dream of.

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, center, celebrates the opening bell at Nasdaq as his company holds its IPO, Thursday, April 18, 2019, in New York. The videoconferencing company is headquartered in San Jose, California. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Since so many firms issued their IPOs in 2019, we’re sticking to those that raised more than $250 million in their big debut.

These are the top 5 performing IPOs of 2019, as compiled by Renaissance Capital, which runs an IPO ETF.

5. Tradeweb — up 68.15% since IPO

Tradeweb (TW) is a trading platform working in the fixed income and derivatives markets. The company builds out over-the-counter trading marketplaces and works with some of the largest banks in the world.

And its stock has been on a hot streak since it went public in April at $27 a share. As of the close of the markets on Dec. 10, the stock had grown by an outstanding 68.15% to $45.40.

It doesn’t hurt that the company uses a subscription model that brings in a constant stream of revenue.

“Tradeweb is a profitable electronic trading platform,” Katheleen Smith, IPO ETF Manager at Renaissance Capital, explained. “They are trading fixed income and derivatives on the platform — that’s an area that needs efficiencies that these guys have been solving.”

4. 10X Genomics — up 69.10% since IPO

August 25, 2019 Pleasanton / CA / USA - 10x Genomics headquarters in Silicon Valley; 10x Genomics is an American biotechnology company that designs and manufactures gene sequencing technology

A biotech startup that debuted in September, 10X Genomics (TXG) is on an absolute tear. Initially offered at $39 a share, the company’s stock was up 69.10% when it closed at $65.95 on Dec. 10. 

The firm produces gene-sequencing platforms that scientists use to look at cells linked to various cancers, kidney disease, brain development, and more. That, according to Smith, means 10x Genomics offers a lot of recurring, consumable revenue from organizations using its sequencing platform.

“It was not profitable, but you could see the setup for profitability,” Smith said, adding that the company is fast growing and could become profitable by the end of this year.

3. Zoom — up 79.36% since IPO

Employees and guests of Zoom celebrate at Nasdaq as the company holds its IPO, Thursday, April 18, 2019, in New York. The videoconferencing company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Video chat software company Zoom (ZM) was a rare unicorn that was actually profitable when it came to market in April with a list price of $36.

It then ballooned to a high of $107.34, before coming back down to Earth and landing at $64.57 at the close on Dec. 10. That’s still a 79.36% increase over its IPO price.

“Within all of these companies that have gone public in 2019, the ones with big splashy names that might be losing a lot of cash, Zoom…was kind of the one shining star that was coming out with pretty strong revenue growth and positive cash flow and positive net income when compared to things that were kind of exploring listings at that time, which were going to be Lyft, Uber, WeWork, Slack, those kind of companies,” said Phil Haslett, founder and chief revenue officer at Equity Zen.

Zoom, though, has some stiff competition from the likes of Microsoft (MSFT) and Cisco (CSCO), which could prove difficult in the future. But for now, the company’s stock is riding high.

“I think when you have this nice combination of meaningful revenue growth, top line growth, and show not only do you have a path to profitability, you’ve actually taken that path, it means a lot for investors,” Haslett said. “And I think that was a positive outcome for Zoom.”

2. Luckin Coffee — up 83.06% since IPO 

Customers sit inside a Luckin Coffee shop at a shopping center in Beijing, Saturday, May 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Luckin Coffee (LK) is a fast service coffee brand with major backing from the likes of Blackrock and even the government of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. 

While just two years old, the Starbucks (SBUX) competitor has opened more than 3,500 locations across China, and plans to hit 4,500 stores by the end of 2019. They don’t have any locations in the U.S. 

And that kind of incredible growth means Luckin is burning through tons of cash. In its third quarter, the company lost more than $75 million.

But for a company that set its IPO price at $17, Luckin’s stock performance has been off the charts, growing to $32.12, or 83.06% since the company debuted in May.  

1. BridgeBio Pharma — up 117.24% since IPO

BridgeBio Pharma (BBIO) has seen its stock price take off since it issued its IPO in June for $17 a share, jumping 117.24% to $36.93 by Dec. 10.

A pharmaceutical company working on various rare diseases, the firm’s decentralized model allows it to use smaller research groups to work on individual drugs rather than a single entity developing multiple drugs. 

Because BridgeBio works on pharmaceuticals for exceedingly rare conditions, it hopes to avoid the kind of competition it might see for treatments from more widespread conditions.

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Got a tip? Email Daniel Howley at danielphowley@protonmail.com or dhowley@yahoofinance.com, and follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

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