In what is a first for Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), the Swiss bank took the top spot among all investment banks who underwrote IPO deals in the U.S. this year.  Data compiled by Thomson Reuters shows that Credit Suisse helped various companies raise $4.7 billion through listings at U.S. exchanges in 2012 – slightly ahead of competitors JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) whose tally for the year is $4.6 billion and $4.5 billion, respectively. This is a considerable improvement in Credit Suisse’s standings in the U.S., considering that it came in at eighth position last year for raising $2.8 billion. Also, surprisingly, last year’s top ranker Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) had to settle for fourth place this time around despite being the lead underwriter for Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) mega-IPO in May.
We maintain a $25 price estimate for Credit Suisse’s stock, which is around its current market price.
According to Thomson Reuter’s league table, Credit Suisse’s share of the global equity underwriting market has fluctuated between 5% and 6% over the last few years – something that is represented in the chart above. But the bank achieved this share of the global market primarily through its leadership position in Europe, with U.S. companies preferring to stick to the large U.S.-based investment banks to help them raise money.
The country’s IPO data for the year shows a shift in this trend with Credit Suisse bagging the role of lead underwriter for some high-profile U.S. listings – including Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG), payment processor Vantiv Inc (NYSE:VNTV) and industrial company Rexnord Corp (NYSE:RXN), among others. These IPOs raised $671 million, $575 million and $426 million respectively for these three companies. 
What remains to be seen is whether the observation for this year was just an exception or whether Credit Suisse can actually pull off a similar performance in the years to come. After all, the Swiss bank is one of the few global investment banks which is focusing on its equity capital markets business even as competitors are in the process of trimming their presence in this industry.Notes: