Companies Are Selling Stock at Record Pace to Start the Year

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Public companies have been taking advantage of a hot stock market by issuing shares at record pace in January.

U.S.-listed companies have conducted 80 follow-on stock offerings this year through Friday, raising $16.35 billion. Both numbers are records for this point in the year, according to Dealogic data going back to 1995.

Many of the offerings have been from small pharmaceutical and other health-care firms. Also in the mix: pandemic-era videoconferencing star Zoom Video Communications Inc., which raised $2 billion in the largest such offering this year as it looks to build out its operations.

On Tuesday afternoon alone, 18 U.S.-listed companies unveiled plans for secondary or follow-on offerings, according to the financial-news organization

The offerings coincide with voracious investor demand for stock: The S&P 500 has risen 2.3% this year, setting repeated highs after rallying 16% last year. At the same time, many biotech and pharmaceutical companies are eager to raise money for new drug candidates or vaccine research and trials.

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