Initial public offering (IPO) - Meaning
A company's first sale of stock to the public. Securities offered in an IPO are often, but not always, those of young, small companies seeking outside equity capital and a public market for their stock. Investors purchasing stock in IPOs generally must be prepared to accept very large risks for the possibility of large gains. IPO's by investment companies (closed-end funds) usually contain underwriting fees which represent a load to buyers.