As anybody who's been waiting to do an offering can tell you, the winds of initial public offerings (IPOs) can go from tropical to Arctic in no time. But for those who are interested in the relative fortunes of small companies versus big companies, here are some surprising snapshots of how the IPO market looked from 1989 to mid-1992. According to data from Fechtor, Detwiler & Co., a regional brokerage firm in Boston, nearly one-third of the issuers during this period had revenues of $10 million or less. And nearly a quarter did offerings of less than $10 million.

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Number of Percentage of
Deal size IPOs in sample IPOs in sample
Less than $5 Million 48 12.6%

$5 - $10 Million 43 11.3

$10 - $15 Million 39 10.2

$15 - $20 Million 37 9.7

$20 - $30 Million 83 21.7

$30 - $40 Million 44 11.5

$40 - $50 Million 21 5.5

$50 Million or more 67 17.5

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Number of Percentage of
Company revenues IPOs in sample IPOs in sample
Less than $5 Million 83 22.1%

$5 - $10 Million 29 7.7

$10 - $15 Million 25 6.7

$15 - $20 Million 17 4.5

$20 - $30 Million 37 9.9

$30 - $40 Million 28 7.5

$40 - $50 Million 24 6.4

$50 Million or more 132 35.2

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Source: Fechtor, Detwiler & Co., Boston, June 1992.