Twitter soars in frenzied NYSE debut

Thursday 07 November 2013 23.42
Shares in Twitter began changing hands at $45.10
Shares in Twitter began changing hands at $45.10

Frenzied buying in Twitter shares grabbed Wall Street's attention , as the social media stock surged well above expectations.

Twitter Inc soared as much as 92% in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange as investors snapped up shares in the popular microblogging site in a frenzy that recalled the days of the dot-com bubble.

The shares opened at $45.10 a share, up from the initial public offering price of $26 set  yesterday, then added to those gains, hitting a high above $50.

The stock closed up 73% at $44.90 with 117 million shares traded.

"This crowns Twitter probably as the most expensive IPO on a price-to-sales metric ever," said Channing Smith, managing director at Capital Advisors in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"With this multiple, you're leaning on everything going right," Mr Smith said.

Investor enthusiasm for Twitter, which boasts 230 million users, including heads of state and celebrities, is strong even though the microblogging network has never turned a profit.

A number of IPOs have doubled on their first day of trading, including Container Store Group, restaurant chain Potbelly Corp and software company Benefitfocus Inc.

Twitter hiked its target IPO price on Monday from an initial range of $17 to $20. All of the proceeds from the IPO will go directly to the company, with no insider selling taking place.

Goldman Sachs, which led the Twitter IPO, tops the list of US technology bookrunners this year with an 18.3% market share, up from 11% a year ago when it ranked fifth, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co also led the IPO.