ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) hit an all-time low Tuesday and the stock’s 21.5% decline this year epitomizes the struggles of a broad swath of newly public companies.

On Monday, Bespoke Investment Group posted a glance of the Bloomberg IPO Index, which due to being a cap-weighted index has an excessive weight to Alibaba and as such has been drubbed this yaer. But as Bespoke notes, Alibaba is far from the only offender in the Bloomberg IPO Index.

Entering Monday, 37 members of that index sported year-to-date losses of 10% or more. With that in mind, it is almost miraculous that the Renaissance IPO ETF (NYSEArca: IPO) is up nearly 6%. IPO’s solid showing is all the more impressive when considering the ETF’s 7.1% weight to Alibaba as of Monday. IPO was the second ETF to add Alibaba after the company went public last September. [A Real Alibaba ETF]

Alibaba’s current weight in IPO is well below its previous flirtation with 10%. IPOs that pass Renaissance Capital’s formulated screening process are weighted by investable market capitalization, capped at 10% and removed after two years,” according to Connecticut-based Renaissance Capital.

The Renaissance screening methodology has worked in IPO’s favor this year because when moving past Alibaba, the ETF features mostly light or no allocations to many of this year’s worst IPO offenders.

For example, the aforementioned Bespoke list of Bloomberg IPO Index dogs shows seven companies with year-to-date losses of 30% or more. None of those stocks are among the 62 currently held by IPO.

In fact, IPO has not added a new holding this year. In the fourth quarter of 2014, IPO added Zayo Group (NasdaqGS: ZAYO) and Lending Club (NYSE: LC), which are off 5.4% and 20.8%, respectively, year-to-date. The good news is those stocks do not even combine for 0.9% of the ETF’s weight. [IPO ETF Adds Lending Club]

Of the seven members of the Bloomberg IPO Index that had 2015 loss of 20% to 25% as of Monday, only Lending Club is a member of the IPO ETF.

Among others, Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS) and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) have propped IPO up this year with gains of 8.25 and 33%, respectively. (NasdaqGS: JD) has ignored the weakness in rival Alibaba to soar 19%. Those stocks combine for nearly 24% of IPO’s weight.

IPO’s challenges lie further out, that is assuming Twitter and Zoetis remain the primary drivers of the ETF’s bullishness. IPO’s underlying index only holds companies for two years after the IPO date, meaning Zoetis will soon be leaving while Twitter will depart in the fourth quarter or early in the first quarter of 2016.

Renaissance IPO ETF