TWITTER IPO LIVE: Strong market debut for Twitter

AP News
Posted: Nov 07, 2013 5:48 PM
TWITTER IPO LIVE: Strong market debut for Twitter

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter had a strong public stock debut Thursday in the most highly anticipated initial public offering since Facebook's last year.

The stock closed at $44.90 on its first day of trading, giving Twitter a value of more than $31 billion based on its outstanding stock, options and restricted stock that'll be available after the IPO. That's 73 percent above its $26 IPO price.

The high price comes despite the fact that Twitter has never turned a profit in seven years of existence. Revenue has been growing, but the company is also investing heavily in more data centers and hiring more employees.

Here's a running account of Twitter's first day of trading, presented in reverse chronological order. All times are EST.


— 5 p.m.: Big payday for @Twitter co-founders @Jack, @ev and CEO @dickc

Evan Williams' stake in the company is worth $2.6 billion.

Jack Dorsey, currently its chairman, has a stake worth $1.05 billion.

Dick Costolo, who became CEO in 2010 and groomed the company for its stock debut, owns a stake worth $345 million.

— Michael Liedtke, San Francisco, @liedtkesfc


— 4:55 p.m.: Sure, @Twitter had strong #IPO, but what exactly is it? AP's Scott Mayerowitz @GlobeTrotScott explains:


— 4 p.m.: First day of trading is done.


— 3:35 p.m.: Twitter has no shortage of co-founders. AP's @liedtkesfc tries to track down the one who wasn't @NYSE for opening

Here's his account:

While Twitter founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams and Biz Stone were in New York celebrating the company's stock debut Thursday, a former partner involved in Twitter's creation was in the midst of a home improvement project on the other side of the country.

At least that's how it looked when I swung by the home of Noah Glass, @noah, in San Francisco's Mission District neighborhood.

Glass, 43, says he and Dorsey conceived Twitter during a brainstorming session after a night of drinking in San Francisco nearly eight years ago. Dorsey has a different account, maintaining he came up with the idea himself on a San Francisco playground. Tweets and blog posts from 2006 make it clear Glass was deeply involved. He even came up with the service's name, originally shortening it to "twittr."

For reasons that aren't entirely clear, Glass was ousted from Twitter before it turned into a cultural phenomenon and didn't even get much company stock, according to a new book about Twitter's history.

I was curious to see how Glass was handling this momentous day for Twitter. So I hopped on a train near Twitter's San Francisco headquarters and rode the subway to the next stop. Glass lives with his 7-month-old daughter and the baby's French-speaking mother at the end of a dirt lot in a small home that was set up after a 1906 earthquake destroyed much of the city. These homes are still known as "earthquake shacks."

The front gate was open, as was the front door. As I walked up to the threshold, I could hear the pounding of a hammer in the back and a baby blissfully playing in a stroller. The French-accented woman nearby cheerfully greeted me, but when I told her that I was a reporter wondering if Noah wanted to talk to me about Twitter, she informed me that he wasn't interested. She was very nice about it, and we wished me a very nice day.

It seemed like a happy home, even if it isn't as grandiose as the mansions that many Twitter employees can now afford to buy. #ForgottenFounder

More on the founders:

— Michael Liedtke, San Francisco, @liedtkesfc


— 3:05 p.m.: AP's @liedtkesfc explores the neighborhood outside @Twitter HQ and sees contrasts.

The San Francisco neighborhood outside Twitter's headquarters provides a forlorn contrast to the suddenly rich people working inside the building.

These are among the meaner streets in downtown San Francisco, long populated with the destitute who have no place to live and the miscreants who resort to crime to make ends meet. In hopes of cleaning the area up, the city of San Francisco gave Twitter local tax breaks on employee stock options to help persuade the company to move into the neighborhood two years ago.

But times are still tough here. Scruffy-looking people gathered against the wall of a post office across the street from Twitter's headquarters. Four of them had just spent the night in a homeless shelter. All of them said that they wished that they owned Twitter stock, yet they maintained that they didn't really envy Twitter employees becoming wealthier as the stock soared Thursday.

There was a clump of litter just a few feet away. Amid the empty coffee cups, cigarette butts and empty liquor bottles, there were two scratch-off games for the California lottery that had been discarded because they didn't pay off. #LandofBrokenDreams

— Michael Liedtke, San Francisco, @liedtkesfc


— 1:20 p.m.: Will Twitter's stock keep going up? There is risk of Twitter burnout. #TwitterHaters

There's plenty of evidence online about the celebrities who tire of Twitter. The long list of Twitter quitters includes everyone from Alec Baldwin to Miley Cyrus to "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof, though some eventually return.

Believe Him
Katie Pavlich

Some get overwhelmed by followers spewing hatred. Others get addicted to interacting with huge fan bases and need to pull away. Even non-celebrity users complain of the amount of time spent posting and replying.

The company's revenue depends on ads it inserts into the stream of messages.

But Wall Street could lose its big bet on social media if prolific tweeters lose their voice.

Read more:

— Ryan Nakashima, Los Angeles, @rnakashi


— 1:05 p.m.: Twitter chairman @jack makes reference to first tweet in Vine video post

About two hours ago, Twitter chairman and co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted this: "just setting up our $twtr —"

The tweet, of course, is a reference to the world's first tweet, which was sent by Dorsey on March 21, 2006, and read "just setting up my twttr." Dorsey uses "$twtr" in Thursday's post in a reference to the stock's ticker symbol.

— Barbara Ortutay, New York, @BarbaraOrtutay


— 12:15 p.m.: Learn more about @vivienneharr, @sirpatstew and @bostonpolice official who rang @NYSEEuronext opening bell

Crediting its success to its users, Twitter gave the honor of ringing Thursday's opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to three high-profile tweeters.

Nine-year-old Vivienne Harr used a lemonade stand to raise more than $100,000 to support efforts to eliminate child slavery around the world.

Patrick Stewart is known both for his Twitter presence and his stage and screen careers. Stewart tweeted a picture of himself on Halloween dressed as a lobster in a bathtub. It was retweeted nearly 39,000 times.

Cheryl Fiandaca has been chief of public information for the Boston Police Department since July 2012. Her department used Twitter to get information to the public in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Bree Fowler, New York, @APBreeFowler


— 10:51 a.m.: Twitter stock opens at $45.10, 73 percent above IPO price


— 8:40 a.m.: Why Twitter went to @nyse. Pressure is on with opening bell less than an hour away. #lessonsfromFB

Twitter chose to go public on the NYSE over the all-electronic Nasdaq. One of the reasons why Twitter likely chose the NYSE over the Nasdaq has to do with problems Facebook faced with its Nasdaq-listed IPO last year. A glitch in Nasdaq's trading software led to trading delays and order failures on Facebook's first day of trading.

Read more:

— Ken Sweet, New York, @KenSweet


— 8 a.m.: After #TwitterIPO pricing, market debut comes Thursday.