BizTerm Definition
Initial Public Offering (IPO)
Full Definition

A company's first sale of stock to the public. Securities offered in an IPO are often, but not always, those of young, small companies seeking outside equity capital and a public market for their stock. Investors purchasing stock in IPOs generally must be prepared to accept very large risks for the possibility of large gains. IPO's by investment companies (closed end funds) usually contain underwriting fees which represent a load to buyers.


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