Twitter shares surged Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange as investors clamored to get in on the social media company’s highly anticipated initial public offering.
On a day that financial markets sank, Twitter’s stock price opened trading at $45.10, briefly topped $50 before edging down late in the session to finish at $44.90. That represents a 74 percent gain over the initial $26 a share price that Twitter and its underwriters put on the IPO. At the close, the microblogging platform had a market value of more than $24 billion.
The jump in Twitter’s shares reflect the excitement over what is the largest technology IPO since Facebook’s May 2012 offering, which raised $16 billion in what is the biggest ever Internet company initial offering. By comparison, Twitter raised $1.8 billion in its IPO, making it the third-biggest Internet IPO of all-time.
The company, which will trade under the symbol “TWTR,” raised the price range for its stock earlier this week to $23 to $25, from an initial range of $17 to $20. The message from investors: Get it while it’s hot.
Indeed, Twitter’s market debut puts a capstone on the company’s rapid rise. Launched only in 2006, it now draws 230 million monthly users around the world, making it the second-largest social network after Facebook (FB). Its signature 140-character per tweet platform has become ubiquitous as a place where everyone from media kingpins and Hollywood celebrities to political leaders and revolutionaries communicate.