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After slow start, more IPOs predicted in 2009

Fueling the optimism: the stock market’s recovery, and investors’ willingness to take risks again, especially in the case of IPOs, where companies are selling stock to the public for the first time.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange.

Brendan McDermid/REUTERS/File

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The decision by Rosetta Stone Inc. to cancel its public stock offering Monday triggers questions about companies’ efforts to raise money in the capital markets as long as investors remain skittish.

The language education company dropped the offering and cut its third-quarter and full-year profit forecasts, citing higher marketing and product development costs. The company, which went public in April, planned an additional offering of 4 million shares.

Still, despite Rosetta’s issues, investors should expect to see a flood of capital-raising efforts and initial public offerings as the economy recovers, said Scott Sweet, senior managing partner at IPO Boutique, an advisory firm.

“I do expect some big filings forthcoming,” Sweet said. “The climate, which was dark at one time for IPOs, is quite bright again.”

Fueling the optimism: the stock market’s recovery, and investors’ willingness to take risks again, especially in the case of IPOs, where companies are selling stock to the public for the first time.

So far this year, only 21 companies have launched initial public offerings, far from the hundreds that went public just a few years ago. But in the past month, the companies announcing IPO plans have included big names like Dole Food Co., Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Mirion Technologies Inc.

Meanwhile, executives at private equity firms are looking to reap big rewards by taking private companies public.

Although investors tend to be drawn to stock offerings in general, IPOs are particularly tantalizing to investors who are hoping the shares will prove to be as lucrative as Google Inc.’s five years ago. Google, which went public at $85 a share, quickly rose to a price in the hundreds.

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