(Bloomberg) — Freshly minted stocks are beating earnings estimates at a higher rate than the S&P 500 this quarter, potentially adding fuel for a breakout in small-cap companies.
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More than 70 recent initial public offerings are reporting earnings this week, including Ryan Specialty Group Holdings Inc., Mister Car Wash Inc. and Xponential Fitness Inc. on Thursday. They’re arriving during a quarter in which this year’s IPOs are already beating earnings estimates by an aggregate of $1.5 billion so far, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Estimated to report a net loss of $6.32 billion, this year’s IPOs collectively have instead reported a net loss of $4.86 billion. That’s an aggregate beat of 23%, dwarfing the S&P 500’s 9.4%.
The strong results could help fuel a comeback in a bellwether segment of the market that’s been lagging the major indexes. A breakout in the Russell 2000 amid the rush of reports signals a renewed advance for small caps — including many recent IPOs — plus confidence in stocks overall, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Michael Casper.
“A better-than-expected earnings season appears to be the main driver behind renewed optimism, as small caps have beat their preseason top-line forecasts by 190 bps.,” Casper wrote in a note. “Even with the Fed’s announced taper, small caps can support these levels if revenue stays strong.”
The success of IPOs in turn could help fuel a resurgence in secondary offerings. Recent IPOs are typically seen as candidates to return to equity capital markets with post-earnings share sales from the companies or their largest holders.
Not all is perfect among this year’s crop of IPOs. Despite the strong earnings, they are missing sales estimates at a higher pace than more mature peers. This might explain why investors haven’t yet rewarded new listings with the same enthusiasm shown for established companies. U.S. IPOs that started trading in 2021 have returned an average of 12% this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, which is only half the gain for the S&P 500.
Earnings season is far from over for recent debutants. At least 20 more IPOs are expected to report next week, including Oatly Group AB, Traeger Inc. and Dlocal Limited of Uruguay.
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