What's going on with the Twitter IPO? Here are some interesting tidbits.
Twitter priced the initial public offering of stock at $26 per share, valuing the company at more than $18 billion based on its outstanding stock, options and restricted stock that'll be available after the IPO. The pricing means the short messaging service will raise $1.8 billion in the offering, before expenses.
The high price comes despite the fact that Twitter has never turned a profit in seven years of existence. Revenue has been growing, but the company is also investing heavily in more data centers and hiring more employees.
At 9:25 a.m., IPO was the 10th most popular trending topic in the U.S. on Twitter. IPO is behind Thanksgiving, Texas, NFL and #throwbackthursday. Worldwide, it doesn't make into the Top 10. Nobel Prize-winning author Albert Camus does. It's his birthday, after all.
Twitter chose to go public on the NYSE over the all-electronic Nasdaq. One of the reasons why Twitter likely chose the NYSE over the Nasdaq has to do with problems Facebook faced with its Nasdaq-listed IPO last year. A glitch in Nasdaq's trading software led to trading delays and order failures on Facebook's first day of trading.
The NYSE isn't taking any chances with Twitter. The exchange tested its trading software on Oct. 26 to prepare for Twitter's debut. If the NYSE faces technical problems with its ordering software, the exchange can switch over the traditional human-based stock trading that dominated Wall Street for decades.
At 8:20 a.m., AP markets reporter @KenSweet said media outnumbered traders 5:1 on the NYSE trading floor and the NYSE was decorated head to toe. with twitter logos.
It should come as no surprise that Twitter used Twitter to announce its public stock debut.
It began with a tweet on Sept. 12: The 7-year-old company posted on its official Twitter account that it has "confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO." Details about offering emerged after the IPO documents were released publicly later.
On Oct. 24, Twitter set its IPO price target at $17 to $20 per share. It raised that to $23 and $25 per share, signaling an enthusiastic response from prospective investors. The actual price on Wednesday night was even higher, at $26.
The company is offering 70 million shares in the IPO, plus an option to buy another 10.5 million. If all shares are sold, the IPO will raise $2.09 billion, making it the biggest IPO for an Internet company since Facebook raised $16 billion last year.
Of course, Facebook made its debut with high hopes, only to see its stock fall below the IPO price by the second day of trading. Twitter has valued itself at just a fraction of Facebook and sought to cool expectations in the months and weeks leading up to the offering.