A significant number of initial public offerings were in the U.S. markets' pipeline in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to a quarterly report issued by Ernst & Young.

As of Dec. 31, 2007, 90 IPOs were in the pipeline to raise $16.8 billion. Twenty-four companies, or over a quarter of the potential IPOs, were new market registrants.

Four were foreign-based companies attracted to the U.S. markets. One of these, MagnaChip Semiconductors LLC from Luxembourg, was the fourth-largest deal in the pipeline. Other foreign companies in the IPO pipeline include Alma Lasers Ltd. (Israel), Asia Time Corp. (China) and Hong Kong Highpower Tech Inc. (China).

State by state, California companies were the most active with 15 registrants, representing 16.7 percent of the total number of IPOs in the pipeline. Texas followed with 11 registrants and Massachusetts with seven. Technology and biotech companies were particularly active in California and Massachusetts, while Texas saw numerous potential oil and gas IPOs.

The three most active sectors at the end of the fourth quarter were technology (23), oil and gas (15) and biotech (14).

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