Twitter is all set to launch its initial public offering today, in the biggest tech IPO since Facebook began offering stock for sale last May. Here's what you need to know.
First the nuts and bolts: The initial price for a single share of Twitter stock will be set $26, and the company is offering 70 million shares at the open. However, the actual "opening" could be much higher, depending on what investors are actually willing to pay once trading begins. (Update: The stock opened around 10:45 a.m. at $45.10, almost 60 percent higher than offering price. It briefly surged above $60, but is currently hovering near the opening.) The stock will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TWTR.
We just priced our IPO. pic.twitter.com/NWXaO4Myq0— Twitter (@twitter) November 6, 2013
If those numbers hold, the company stands to raise a little over $1.8 billion from the offering, putting its overall valuation at around $18.1 billion. Underwriters could also offer 10.5 million more shares if they decided to release them, meaning that the company could raise a total of $2.1 billion.
Whether or not Twitter is actually worthy of that valuation is still up for debate, however. The reason for investor excitement, according to Business Insider's Henry Blodget (a former tech stock analyst himself), comes from Twitter's status as a not-yet fully matured company. When Facebook began trading last year, its stock initially foundered, but that company had already begun to decelerate in terms of revenue growth — whereas Twitter's expectation that it won't be profitable until 2015 means a bigger risk that also offers bigger rewards, margin-wise.