San Diego Business Journal

The number of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the first quarter of 2015 dropped significantly from the same period a year ago, according to reports from the accounting firm Ernst & Young and fund manager Renaissance Capital.

Only 38 companies were expected to raise a total of $5.62 billion for the quarter that ends March 31, Ernst & Young said. That’s down 46.5 percent from the 71 companies who offered public stock offerings in the same period in 2014, the firm said. And the capital raised in the first quarter of 2015 dropped 53 percent from a year ago.

A total of 291 companies made initial public offerings in 2014, which was the best year for IPOs in over a decade.

“Expectations of continued elevated activity in the U.S. IPO market failed to materialize during the first quarter of 2015,” Renaissance Capital said, adding it expects activity to pick up in the second quarter.

While some analysts have warned of bubbles in certain sectors, such as the life sciences and technology, the numbers for the first quarter of 2015 indicate otherwise as health care, aided by biotech, accounted for a lion’s share of the activity, according to Renaissance Capital.