Financial News

  • 25 October 2013, 14:06

Twitter Sets IPO Share Pricing Range

Twitter has set a price range of $17 to $20 (10 to 12) per share for its initial public offering and says it could raise as much as $1.6bn (987m) in the process.

Twitter Inc said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that it is putting forth 70 million shares in the much-anticipated offering.

If those are sold, the underwriters can buy another 10.5 million shares.

At the $20 share price, Twitter's market value is around $12.5bn (7.7bn) - a relatively conservative number after some analysts expected the figure to be as high as $20bn(12.3bn).

The caution appears to show that Twitter learned from Facebook's rocky initial public offering last year, which was marred by technical glitches on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

The tech-heavy exchange agreed this year to pay a $10m (6.3m) penalty for trading glitches.

"It's conservative and likely going to be raised as they start the road show at least once if not twice," Sam Hamadeh of PrivCo, a private company research firm, said.

"The size of the offering is also a bit small.

"But they may only choose to raise the price once they gauge investor demand. Raising both the price and the size was Facebook's fatal mistake."

Twitter plans to list its stock under the ticker symbol "TWTR" on the New York Stock Exchange, with trading possibly beginning within the next few weeks.

The San Francisco-based micro-blogging service had more than 215 million active users as of the end of June, up 44% from the previous year.

Separately Twitter announced it had hired former NBC executive Vivian Schiller to head its news operations.

Ms Schiller has been the chief digital officer for NBC News since 2011, and has some 25 years experience in the media business. She is expected to be a key liaison between Twitter and the news industry.

The appointment highlights the growing role of Twitter and other social media in the news industry.