See: Gross spread
In a public offering, the difference between the price an underwriter pays an issuer and the price at which it sells the offering to the public. That is, an underwriter pays the issuer an agreed-upon price to purchase an issue, which it then attempts to place with investors. When it places the issue, it charges the investor a certain price like any other trade. The difference is known as the gross spread; it forms the bulk of an underwriting firm's profits. See also: Fully subscribed, Overbooked, Underbooked.