Twitter IPO: Market cap hits $US24.46 billion despite its lack of profits

Twitter has officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with the stock up 72.69% in its first trading session.

The social media giant – which now trades under the stock symbol TWTR – opened for a listing price of $US26 per share.

That price quickly surged, with the company eventually closing at $US44.90 per share, before dropping slightly to $US44.44 in after-hours trading.

British actor Patrick Stewart, best known for his role as Captain Jean Luc Picard on Star Trek, and nine-year-old Vivienne Harr, who started a campaign to end slavery on the social media site, rang the bell for the session.

In an interview with US business news channel CNBC, Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo credits the success of the IPO to building close personal relations with potential Silicon Valley investors.

“I think that our strategy approaching the IPO has been based on me and our investors, frankly, having a number of conversations with other CEOs and investors around Silicon Valley.

“One of the great things about Silicon Valley is irrespective of how competitive you might be with another company, or how closely you might be working with that company, there’s a great sort of give and take, and camaraderie between some of the executives in the valley and some of the other investors in the valley.”

Allen & Company and CODE Advisors acted as co-managers of the IPO, while Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Securities acted as book runners.

While the tech giant has revenues of $US534.46 million and around 230 million users worldwide, it is still yet to post a profit.

Despite this, the company now has a market capitalisation of $US24.46 billion, with Costolo claiming the company’s long-term investment strategy has prevented it from posting short-term profits.

“I’ll start off by saying there’s nothing structural about Twitter that prevents us from having the kind of margin profiles of our peer group. We are investing for the long term. We think this is a long-term company, a company – that for which there is a fantastic use case for every person on the planet.

“In fact, everybody inside the company would give you example after example of this is why I think this Twitter would be valuable to anyone. And so we have a significant number of investments we want to make as we move down that path, investments in our distributed platform, investment in our Twitter and TV strategy, etc.”

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