Will Facebook live up to the hype? We look back at nine of the hottest IPOs and how they turned out.
After being fairly quiet for years, the IPO market is off to its best start since 2000. With Facebook, the biggest technology IPO ever, set to hit the market this Friday, 2012 may even erase a few of the bruises from that 2000 debacle.
With notoriously short memories, investors are once again dazzled by the seemingly endless opportunity of newly launched ventures, especially social-networking companies such as Groupon, LinkedIn and Facebook.
But will they pay off? Are today's darlings destined to become the next Amazon or Apple or quickly fade into obscurity like Webvan and Pets.com?
It often seems as though the hottest IPOs are the ones that lose their sizzle the quickest, as it becomes apparent that a company's inherent business model lies in its popularity and potential, and not in any real-world results.
After all, IPOs are structured that way. Build interest in a company in a hot sector, then sell only a small portion of the shares, creating artificial scarcity. And then step back and watch the stock jump.
But it doesn't always work out that way. Here's a look at a few companies over the past decade where the company did, or didn't, live up to the hype.
* Video: Is the Facebook frenzy overheated?
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