For a brief, giddy moment, it seemed like an IPO — any IPO — was a prepunched ticket to instant riches for companies and individual investors alike. But the technology- and Internet-stock tumble have made the risks of IPOs all too apparent. As companies sift through the wreckage, the question emerges: How can the risks of IPO stocks be predicted and managed?Three new research studies explain why some IPO stocks plummet in price while others outperform the market. According to all three, information available prior to the opening trading day of an IPO company is critical. Executives and individual investors should consider the following factors in assessing risk and potential payoffs: Who is the underwriter? IPOs underwritten by top-tier investment banks turn in stronger performances after three to five years in the public marketplace. How much has the offering price changed? The greater the increase in price from the day the stock was announced until its offering day, the better the stock will do over the long term.