After a strong start, the market for new stock offerings stalled in the second quarter as international economic woes roiled markets and Facebook's rocky IPO drained investor enthusiasm, according to two reports Wednesday.
IPO activity froze after Facebook's $16 billion market debut on May 18. The new listing was plagued by technical glitches and led to criticism of the way investment banks handled the offering.
Renaissance Capital, an IPO advisory firm, dubbed the subsequent drop off in new stock offerings the "Facebook Freeze."
The slowdown followed the second-busiest April in a decade for price-setting of IPOs, Renaissance said in a report. Proceeds raised by IPOs worldwide dropped 37 percent in the April-June quarter from a year earlier, the report said. Excluding Facebook, they plummeted about 50 percent in North America.
The Internet industry had hoped Facebook's debut would mark the beginning of a new era. Now venture capitalists say the fallout from the IPO is making companies, especially those in the tech sector, cautious about going public.
Facebook stock closed just 23 cents above its $38 IPO price on its first day of trading, and it hasn't fared much better since. It fell 87 cents, or 2.6 percent, to close at $32.23 Wednesday.
Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, in a report tracking IPOs listed on U.S. stock exchanges, noted that the market began the second quarter robustly with 17 IPOs being priced in April, followed by 10 in May.
So far this year, 71 companies have completed IPOs that raised a total $26.9 billion, compared with 85 companies raising $25.8 billion in the first half of 2011, the PricewaterhouseCoopers report said.
It said the slowdown this month in pricings led to a 39 percent drop in volume compared with the first quarter of the year, and a 48 percent decrease from the second quarter of 2011.
Including the $16 billion in Facebook proceeds, total IPO proceeds for the second quarter were $21.2 billion, up 66 percent from the April-June quarter of 2011 and the third-highest quarterly proceeds since 2007, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.