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5 Most Successful IPOs in North America

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Initial Public Offerings or ‘IPOs' mark the first time shares in a company are made available for the broader public to purchase.  They are typically undertaken by well-established companies looking to take the next big step forward.  While they allow founders and early investors to cash in on their investments, IPOs remain intriguing for the average investor, with their performance acting as a good gauge of broader belief in what the company has to offer.

With that in mind, the following are 5 publicly traded North American companies that boasted some of the most successful IPOs of all time.

Most Successful IPOs in North America

*Figures provided below were accurate at the time of writing and are subject to change.  Any potential investor should verify metrics*

1. Meta Platforms, Inc.

finviz dynamic chart for  META

Market CapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share(EPS)

Meta Platforms is an industry titan that has redefined how we connect, communicate, and consume content.  At its core, Meta operates the world’s leading suite of social media platforms, connecting billions of users across the globe.  These include,

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp
  • Messenger

Beyond social media, Meta is venturing into the realms of augmented and virtual reality, aiming to create a more immersive digital experience through its Oculus devices and the envisioned metaverse.

When Meta, then Facebook, went public in May 2012, it was one of the most anticipated IPOs in tech history. The company raised $16 billion, making it one of the largest IPOs and valuing the social media giant over $100 billion.  Despite a somewhat tumultuous start, with stock prices fluctuating significantly in the initial months, Meta's IPO was a pivotal moment, marking the transition of the world’s most popular social network from a private venture to a public entity.

Today, Meta’s appeal to investors remains strong for several reasons.  First, its unparalleled user base across its platforms offers unmatched reach for advertisers, making it a staple in digital marketing budgets worldwide.  The company's continuous innovation in ad targeting and measurement has helped maintain its attractiveness to advertisers despite challenges like privacy regulations and changes in device tracking.

Second, Meta’s foray into the metaverse presents a long-term growth avenue that excites investors.  By investing in augmented and virtual reality, Meta aims to pioneer the next digital frontier, promising new ways for people to interact, work, and play in a virtual space.  This vision of the future, while still in its early stages, suggests potential new revenue streams and a central role in shaping digital experiences.

Furthermore, Meta has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability when under scrutiny surrounding regulations, platform changes, and competition.  Its strategic acquisitions and investments in technology have helped it stay at the forefront of social media and emerging digital trends.

Overall, Meta Platforms, Inc. remains an appealing stock for investors.  With its eyes set on the present needs of users and advertisers and the futuristic vision of the metaverse, Meta stands as an example of delivering on the hype of one of the most successful IPOs to date.

At the time of writing, META is listed by the majority of analysts as a ‘Strong Buy‘.

2. General Motors

finviz dynamic chart for  GM

Market CapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share(EPS)

General Motors (GM) is an iconic name in the U.S. automotive industry and has been a fixture in the sector for over a century.  Founded in 1908, GM quickly became one of the world's largest car manufacturers, known for its diverse range of vehicles across brands such as Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac.  Beyond its core automotive business, GM is deeply invested in the future of mobility, with significant endeavors in electric vehicles (EVs), autonomous driving technology, and sustainable transportation solutions.

Interestingly, GM has technically had two IPOs to date.  After navigating bankruptcy in 2009 and being removed from public markets, the company saw its return to the public market in November 2010 through an IPO, a landmark event in its history.  The IPO raised $15.8 billion, marking a significant turnaround from its bankruptcy and government bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.   This public offering was pivotal, signaling investor confidence in GM's restructuring efforts and its strategic direction toward innovation and sustainability.

The current allure of GM's stock lies in its commitment to electrification and autonomous driving technologies.  This has allowed it to position itself as a key player in the future of transportation.  GM's ambitious plans to launch a range of electric vehicles by 2025, alongside investments in battery technology and autonomous driving startups, highlight its vision for a zero-emissions future.  Moreover, GM's strong brand portfolio, global footprint, and financial recovery have bolstered investor confidence.

As the automotive industry is poised for a significant transformation, GM's proactive approach to innovation, sustainability, and technology-driven solutions makes its stock an attractive proposition for investors looking to participate in the next era of mobility.

At the time of writing, GM is listed by the majority of analysts as a ‘Strong Buy‘.

3. Uber

finviz dynamic chart for  UBER

Market CapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share(EPS)

Uber Technologies, Inc., widely recognized simply as Uber, has redefined urban mobility and transformed the ride-hailing industry since its founding in 2009.  The company's innovative platform connects riders with drivers, offering services that range from affordable rides in privately owned vehicles to luxury options, along with food delivery through Uber Eats, and freight logistics solutions with Uber Freight.  Uber's technology-driven approach has not only disrupted traditional taxi services but also paved the way for the gig economy, offering flexible employment opportunities to millions worldwide.

Uber's initial public offering (IPO) in May 2019 was one of the most anticipated tech IPOs of the decade, raising $8.1 billion and valuing the company at $82.4 billion.  Despite a rocky start with its share price initially falling below the IPO price, the event was a landmark moment for the tech and transportation sectors, underscoring the scale of the sharing economy and investors' appetite for new, disruptive business models.

Uber's expansive global footprint and diverse range of services offer significant growth potential today, especially as urbanization continues and consumer preferences shift towards on-demand services.  Uber's ongoing expansion into new markets and services, such as grocery delivery and electric bike and scooter rentals, further illustrates its ambition to become a one-stop mobility platform.

Investors are often drawn to Uber for its disruptive business model, substantial market opportunity, and potential for long-term growth. While the ride-hailing industry faces regulatory, competitive, and economic uncertainty, Uber's innovative spirit and global presence make it a compelling investment for those looking to capitalize on the evolution of transportation and the gig economy.

At the time of writing, UBER is listed by the majority of analysts as a ‘Strong Buy‘.

4. Visa Inc.

finviz dynamic chart for  V

Market CapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share(EPS)

Visa Inc. is a global leader in digital payment technology, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions, and government entities across a vast network that spans over 200 countries and territories.  Founded in 1958, Visa has grown from a small credit card offering by Bank of America to a foundational pillar in the global financial ecosystem, processing billions of payments annually.  The company's technology platform connects and secures the transfer of money, ensuring seamless and secure transactions for debit, credit, and prepaid card payments, among other digital payment solutions.

Visa's initial public offering (IPO) in March 2008 was one of the largest in U.S. history, raising $17.9 billion.  The IPO was a watershed moment, underscoring the increasing reliance on digital transactions and the shift away from cash and checks.  This public offering also highlighted investor confidence in Visa's business model, which thrives on processing fees from an ever-growing volume of electronic payments worldwide.

Visa's stock remains appealing as the company's business model is incredibly scalable, with a small marginal cost associated with processing additional transactions on its network.  This scalability, combined with the global shift towards digital payments, should position Visa for continued growth. Also, Visa operates in a duopoly with Mastercard in many markets, providing a competitive moat that is difficult for new entrants to breach.  Notably, this could be disrupted in the years to come as digital assets like Bitcoin rise in popularity, or if it plays its cards right, could leverage this very shift to its benefit through different levels of integration.  Finally, Visa is at the forefront of innovations in payment technology, including contactless payments, blockchain, and cybersecurity enhancements, ensuring its adaptability and resilience in a rapidly evolving financial landscape.

Investors are typically attracted to Visa for its robust financial health, consistent dividend payments, and growth potential in the expanding digital economy.  With its strategic investments in new technologies and commitment to maintaining the security and integrity of its payment network, Visa is poised to remain a dominant force in the global payments industry.  The stock represents not just an investment in a company but in the future trajectory of global commerce and the increasing digitization of financial services.

At the time of writing, V is listed by the majority of analysts as a ‘‘Strong Buy‘.

5. UPS

finviz dynamic chart for  UPS

Market CapForward P/E 1 Yr.Earnings Per Share(EPS)

United Parcel Service (UPS) has been a global logistics leader for ages.  It offers a broad range of solutions, including package and freight delivery, facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to manage the world of commerce.  Founded in 1907 as a messenger company in Seattle, UPS has evolved into a multi-billion-dollar corporation by focusing on the goal of enabling commerce around the globe.  Today, UPS is known for its brown delivery trucks and is synonymous with reliable package delivery, serving both consumers and businesses in over 220 countries and territories.

UPS's initial public offering (IPO) in November 1999 was one of the largest of its time, raising $5.47 billion.  This allowed it to expand its services globally, enhance its logistics and transportation network, and invest in technology to improve package tracking and delivery efficiency.  The IPO was a testament to UPS's solid business model and critical role in global commerce, logistics, and supply chain management.

Today stock in UPS is appealing largely because of the continued shift to e-commerce, placing increased important on courier networks.  UPS benefits from this through leveraging its extensive logistics network and efficient operations.  As a result, it remains a cornerstone in the global supply chain.  Also, UPS's commitment to sustainability, through investments in electric vehicles and renewable energy, aligns with growing investor interest in environmentally responsible companies.  Finally, UPS's ongoing investment in technology and innovation, such as advanced analytics, drone delivery, and autonomous vehicles, positions the company to address future logistics and delivery challenges effectively.

Investors are attracted to UPS for its dividend yield, strong cash flow, and strategic position in a world increasingly reliant on e-commerce and fast, reliable delivery services.  With its adaptability to changing market dynamics, a focus on sustainability, and the continuous push for innovation, UPS stands as a compelling investment for those looking to capitalize on the growth of global commerce and the logistical prowess needed to support it.

At the time of writing, UPS is listed by the majority of analysts as a ‘‘Buy‘.

Daniel is a big proponent of how blockchain will eventually disrupt big finance. He breathes technology and lives to try new gadgets.