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New Issues Soar in Price and Number

Stocks: 33 initial offerings this week push total raised for '96 to record as buyers bid aggressively.

September 28, 1996|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

It felt like spring again on Wall Street this week as a herd of hot new stock issues made their debuts amid strong investor demand.

A total of 33 initial public offerings, or IPOs, came to market in the week, raising $1.9 billion and marking the busiest week this year, Securities Data Co. said.

By one measure, the $34.9 billion raised by 596 IPOs so far this year now is a record, topping the $34 billion raised by 665 issues in 1993. But the data exclude closed-end investment funds and real estate investment trust IPOs; including those offerings, 1993's issuance topped $41 billion.

Friday brought a slew of deals as underwriters sought to get stocks into fund managers' hands before the third quarter ends on Monday. Eager to boost their returns, many managers have been aggressively jockeying to get a share of big-name IPOs, knowing that the stocks' prices would be likely to soar once they began trading.

Fifteen new stocks began trading Friday, and many were red-hot. Los Angeles-based Univision Communications, the leading Spanish-language broadcaster in the United States, sold 8.17 million shares at $23 each, and they rocketed 37% to close at $31.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Among other big deals Friday:

* Cox Radio, which owns 42 radio stations, sold 7.5 million shares at $18.50 each. The price leaped to close at $22 on the NYSE.

* Gargoyles Inc., a Kent, Wash.-based maker of $200 sunglasses, zoomed to $20.56 on Nasdaq after selling 2.86 million shares at $16.

* Orckit Communications, an Israeli telecommunications firm, sold 3.3 million shares at $16 each. The stock jumped to $19.875 on Nasdaq.

* Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer went public at $19.50 a share and rose to $20 on the NYSE.

As long as investor demand remains healthy, analysts expect the IPO flood to continue in October.

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