Google, Shmoogle. The Biggest I.P.O.'s Went Unnoticed.

Randall Stross in the New York Times [Reg reqd] tells of the other IPOs this year that went unnoticed. He points out that it is only the trendy tech industry gets all the press comment while other bigger IPO’s receive scant attention.

Some readers may have missed the news. Genworth’s was only the biggest initial public offering so far this year, raising $2.8 billion in May. It and the second biggest – Assurant, which went public in February – did not draw nearly as much attention as A Certain Other Company’s $1.67 billion offering for a simple reason: boring ZIP codes.

Companies in financial and insurance services, however well they perform, lack the cachet of the most-envied corner of the economy: tech land. No other sector, year in and year out, receives such disproportionate attention from prospective investors and the news media alike. The computer industry is good. Software is even better. A company name already familiar to nontechnical computer users is best of all. This has been the case ever since the initial public offering of Microsoft nearly two decades ago.

He asks and answers appropriately in relation to market hype:

Will Google have a halo like Microsoft’s, benefiting the many other hopefuls in tech? This is a question of pure psychology, nothing more. Experience suggests that “halo” is a euphemism for “investors turning bullish en masse for no substantive reason.”