Vizio Is Eyeing Its Own IPO Date—Again

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Mar. 12 2021, Published 11:27 a.m. ET

Sometimes, things don't go as planned. That's exactly what happened to Vizio in 2015 when it attempted an IPO for the first time. Now, the Vizio IPO date is coming around again.

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Here's what we know about the TV, sound bar, and casting equipment manufacturer that's heading for the public domain. 

Vizio owns itself, mostly

Despite efforts by companies to acquire the TV brand, Vizio Holding Corp. doesn't have an outright parent company. Walmart, LG, and Sony don't own the company. However, one Chinese TV manufacturing company does own 23 percent of privately held Vizio shares. It does by the name AmTRAN Technology Co. Ltd.

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What happened in the original Vizio IPO?

In 2015, Vizio filed to go public for $173 million. Instead of going forward with the offering, it decided to accept an offer for a $2 billion acquisition from a Chinese parent company named LeEco. The deal was in the works for two years before LeEco had to abandon the issue. Reportedly, there were too many issues regarding Chinese regulation for the deal to work.

Four years later and Vizio is at it again. The company wants to go public on its own accord. 

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Vizio's IPO valuation looks healthy, but not overvalued

As is commonplace in registration statements, Vizio is calling for a $100 million IPO. However, this is a classic placeholder, and investors shouldn't take it at face value. Analysts suggest that the deal could be worth twice that much at $200 million.

Is Vizio profitable?

Vizio's key offering involves affordable TV and sound equipment, which sets it apart from higher end brands. However, low-cost products don't mean they aren't raking in money. The company's smart TVs help it earn cash through the sale of personal data and advertisements (this isn't new in the modern age, but it doesn't mean it isn't concerning—Google itself is banning all third-party cookies on Chrome to protect user privacy from advertisers).

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A decade ago, Vizio's profit margins were reported to be in the single digits. This remained true by 2015 during the company's first IPO attempt. In 2020, the total gross profit was $296,358—up from $165,165 the previous year. It's important to remember this increase comes at a time when at-home entertainment is up across the board due to extenuating global circumstances. 

Stock price still unknown, but look out for this ticker

Vizio plans to go by the ticker symbol "VZIO" on the NYSE. The company hasn't divulged the share price range yet, but it will likely come soon as Vizio gets its ducks in a row.

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Who's helping Vizio become publicly traded?

With traditional IPOs, companies don't do it all on their own. Underwriters include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Securities, Wells Fargo Securities, and Guggenheim Securities.

The Vizio IPO date will be released soon

Vizio filed confidentially on December 14, 2020, with a public version of the S-1 that came out on March 1, 2021. The pricing terms are still underway and the IPO date will soon follow.

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