This is the price at which the IPO is first sold to public investors who secured an allocation. It is set by the lead manager and signed off by the company, usually the night before the shares are to begin trading.
On the front page of the preliminary prospectus, the company indicates a price range within which they expect to sell stock. The range of US companies usually has a spread of $2. For example, $15 to $17. However, the ultimate price to the public may be above the range, below the range or within the range, depending on demand and market conditions. Regardless of the impact on valuation, some investors will indicate interest if they hear that the deal will price above the range, and avoid it altogether if the price talk is below the range.
The most powerful institutional investors merit private meetings with the management of the IPO. As with the group roadshow presentations, management is limited in its discussion to what is contained in the preliminary prospectus.
When the underwriter refers to how well orders are building for an IPO or a secondary deal, he means the order book or listing of buy orders from investors. The book for a deal can be many times oversubscribed. In fact, an oversubscribed deal is desired by both underwriters and investors, because it means that there will be an initial pop in the stock when it begins trading and subsequent aftermarket orders. Also referred to as "the book".
When a deal has more orders than there are shares available it is said to be oversubscribed. Many underwriters like to see a book several times oversubscribed because they know that investors inflate the size of their indications of interest. When a book is grossly oversubscribed (>10x) it is said to be a hot deal.