Going Public: Reporting on IPOs

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Initial public offerings—the first sales of stock issued by a company to the public—are slowly making a comeback following a dearth of them in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and uncertainty about the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. News-making IPOs this year include Snap, Inc., the parent company of communications app Snapchat, which raised $3.4 billion in March, making it the largest offering for a U.S.-based tech company since Facebook’s $16 billion offering in 2012; and U.S. meal-kit company Blue Apron Holdings Inc., whose downgraded IPO in June was seen as a flop after it raised only $300 million.

SABEW’s July training session will feature a panel of experts who will decipher the language of IPOs and discuss how reporters should cover companies as they prepare to go public. They will talk about how reporters can use the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database to access IPO prospectuses and which nuggets of information and red flags they should look for in SEC documents when researching companies that are about to go public.


Scott Gurvey was the longtime New York bureau chief and senior correspondent for public television’s “Nightly Business Report.” He covered the financial markets, business, and the economy for the first and longest-running daily program dedicated to financial news on broadcast television. Scott now writes for various online sites to teach the next generation of journalists and to advise companies and nonprofits on media relations, communications strategy, ethics, newsroom operations, and online application design and practice. He also writes an instructional blog “Financial Market Reporting” for the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and a personal blog on journalism, business and economics called “Public Offerings.”


John Divine is an investing reporter at U.S. News & World Report, where he covers financial markets and the economy, with a focus on individual stock analysis. He previously wrote about the stock market for The Motley Fool and InvestorPlace, and his work has appeared on Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, and AOL DailyFinance.

Tom Taulli has been involved in the IPO market since the mid-1990s when he co-founded Web IPO, a place where investors could get research and access to deals during the dot-com boom. He is the author of High-Profit IPO Strategies: Finding Breakout IPOs for Investors and Traders, now it its third edition. Tom has also been a long-time contributor to and Along the way, he has launched other companies including and ExamWeb.

Jack Willoughby is a senior editor at Barron’s who wrote the financial publication’s “Offerings in the Offings” column during the most active years of the new issue market. He has covered business news for 40 years and was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University. Jack is a native of Canada who previously worked for the Globe and Mail, Forbes, and Institutional Investor.

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