If Twitter really was focused on making sure that its IPO didn’t follow the same early path as Facebook’s, then it must be feeling pretty good about itself right now. Shortly after going live on the New York Stock Exchange, Twitter shares were trading around the US$46 mark.
That’s just under 80% higher than its initial price of US$26 a share. By way of contrast, Facebook’s shares plummeted almost immediately after they went live in May last year. As we reported at the time, Morgan Stanley as lead underwriters (and the others) spent billions propping up the stock price to ensure that it closed above the IPO price of US$38 on day one. They couldn’t keep that up forever though, and the company’s stock fell more than 10%
After that, it struggled for over a year to get back on track, with the stock only returning to opening day levels once the company proved that it had solved its perceived mobile advertising problem.
Twitter appears to have had no such problems and its stock seems to have been met with a flurry of demand. Of course, its future is now far more public than its past and while it may get by projecting itself as cool for the moment, that won’t last forever. Profit absolutely has to be the next objective.
For now though, it can afford to indulge in a bit of whimsy:
— Twitter (@twitter) November 7, 2013
If you’re surprised at how well Twitter’s stock is doing, maybe you shouldn’t be. USA Today quotes Thomas Wyman, chief investment officer of The Global Internet Fund, as saying that there was massive demand for the company’s stock before it floated.
He estimated that the stock was at 10 times oversubscribed. If you’re not versed in the language of the stock market, that basically means investors had ordered 10 times as many shares as were available.
“Even though Facebook’s IPO was a disaster at first, this one is set up to perform a lot better,” Wyman added.