Twitter Inc., the company known for the micro-blogging/social networking free service Twitter (i.e. a 140 character per-status update (“tweet”) feed in which users can follow, send, and read) began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at 9:30 AM on Wednesday. Shares rose as high as $50.09.
This means that Twitter Inc. (TWTR) is now a public company, and upon launch, shares were priced at $26 a pop, initially valuing the company at $18.34 billion.
To put that $18.34 billion in perspective:
- Yahoo (YHOO) – $33.45 billion
- Kellogg Company (K) – $22.5 billion
- Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) – $18.34 billion
- Macy’s, Inc. (M) – $17.29 billion
- Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) - $15.91 billion
After its first day of trading yesterday, Twitter Inc.’s shares closed at $44.90, a 73 per cent increase from the initial IPO, giving the company’s worth at the end of the day to be $31 billion. Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone, Twitter’s creators, became instant billionaires after considerable returns. The one year estimated price per share is valued at $39.98, which means $39.98 (at this rate) may be the price-per-share as the year ends.
According to Dealogic, a markets service, Twitter has the second largest IPO by an American company, and trails shortly behind Facebook (FB) which shares, as of this time, cost $47.56.
As the next few days follow, Twitter will see an extraordinary amount of activity at the stock exchange, but will gradually fall down just a bit. If you’re hell-bent on buying shares, it may be wise to wait it out a little bit.
“In a few days after the IPO, you’re going to start seeing the stock price settling down a bit,” says Global X Funds CEO Bruno del Ama.
Thankfully as November 7th closed, Twitter’s NYSE debut didn’t result in any technical glitches like when Facebook went open to the public (and the Securities and Exchange Commission fined Nasdaq $10 million because of it) in May 2012. In late October, NYSE performed a successful test run that showed it could handle the volume of buyers when Twitter’s IPO launched.
So how does Twitter make money?
According to Will Oremus at Future Tense, Twitter makes it money “primarily by selling ads, which gain a lot of their value from the advertiser's ability to target specific groups of users. Twitter's disadvantage relative to Facebook is scale: It has on the order of 200 million users, while Facebook has some 1.15 billion. But its advantage lies in timeliness and topicality. People check Facebook casually, when time allows. Twitter users tend to use Twitter quite actively, and in conjunction with specific events, like TV shows, rallies, concerts, and breaking news. So advertisers can craft ads tailored not only to a Twitter user's general tastes and demographic profile, but to what that user is doing at the very moment they see the ad.”
Below is a pie chart that shows what the 200 million registered users in 2009 were posting on Twitter:
As of May 2013, Twitter has 554,750,000 registered users.