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TWITTER IPO LIVE: Twitter stock trading heavily

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, center, and Mike Gupta, chief financial officer of Twitter, wait for shares to begin trading during the IPO, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. If Twitter's bankers and executives were hoping for a surge on the day of the stock's public debut, they got it. The stock opened at $45.10 a share on its first day of trading, 73 percent above its initial offering price. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Twitter had a strong public stock debut Thursday in the most highly anticipated initial public offering since Facebook's last year. Twitter is trading heavily on its first day.

Twitter is trading under the ticker symbol "TWTR." Twitter's stock opened at $45.10, or 73 percent above its $26 IPO price. The opening price values Twitter at more than $31 billion based on its outstanding stock, options and restricted stock that'll be available after the IPO. Expect some changes throughout the day, though: It has traded as high as $50.09 and is now at $45.82.

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.


— 12:50 p.m.: @Twitter is trading very heavily in its first day on @NYSE.

About 82 million shares of Twitter have exchanged hands already. To put that in perspective, Twitter only sold 70 million shares in its IPO. One way to think about it, every share issued in Twitter's IPO has been traded more than once, and the session isn't half over yet.

Of course, not every investor who got shares of Twitter at the $26 IPO price is selling Thursday. Many large institutional investors are buy-and-hold firms. If every investor had sold at the debut, the stock would not have opened at 73 percent above the IPO price.

— Ken Sweet, New York, @KenSweet


— 12:35 p.m.: @TDAmeritrade official says stock debut is flawless

"It's gone on pretty flawlessly," says JJ Kinahan, chief strategist at online brokerage TD Ameritrade.

For one, he says, the broader market's downturn isn't affecting Twitter much. Trading is also tight, rather than volatile, which indicates that people feel like it was "pretty fairly priced," he says.

— 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: a child activist, a legendary British actor and a Boston Police official.

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. Her pink lemonade, along with a ginger-infused version, is now being bottled and sold online. A portion of the profits is donated to groups that work toward ending child slavery. More than 22,000 people follow @vivienneharr on Twitter.

Patrick Stewart is known both for his Twitter presence and his stage and screen careers. His highest profile roles have included Captain Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and Professor Charles Xavier in the "X-Men" movies. About 722,000 people follow @sirpatstew. 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. Fiandaca spearheaded the department's social media efforts, and her department used Twitter to get information to the public in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. More than 266,000 people follow @bostonpolice.

Bree Fowler, New York, @APBreeFowler


— 11:55 a.m.: @Wedbush analyst @MichaelPachter says high debut price suggests #TwitterIPO was managed well.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter says the surge "clearly shows that demand exceeds supply of shares."

"It's impossible to know what the real value is," he says.

Still, he acknowledges that the price is "pretty high" and not something he was expecting.

— Barbara Ortutay, New York, @BarbaraOrtutay


— 11:45 a.m.: It's #BusinessAsUsual at @Twitter headquarters, though employees seem happy.

Although Twitter's fortunes are already soaring on Wall Street, there haven't been any audible whoops of joy emanating from the company's San Francisco headquarters yet. But almost every employee walking in and out of the building is grinning.

Twitter seems to know that it needs to accelerate its revenue growth to support its lofty stock price. A few employees just came out to usher in a group of advertising agency representatives. #TheNewReality

--Michael Liedtke, San Francisco, @liedtkesfc


— 11:30 a.m.: @Barclays official in charge of stock debut speaks with AP's @KenSweet, admits being "a little nervous."

It was the biggest IPO of the year for Glenn Carell, the Barclays Capital official in charge of Twitter's stock debut. He has been doing it for 21 years and says, "I was a little nervous, but it went well."

Twitter hired Barclays to be its "designated market maker," which supervises the trading of a company's stock on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO process itself was managed by three other investment banks.

— Ken Sweet, New York, @KenSweet


— 11:05 a.m.: RT @KenSweet: Twitter took a long time to open due to the deal size. Goldman also likes to take its time.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase are the three investment banks in charge of Twitter's IPO.

After debuting at $45.10, the stock is now trading at $47.85, or 84 percent above the IPO price.


— 10:55 a.m.: AP's @BarbaraOrtutay notes that the $31 billion value puts Twitter in the ballpark of Yum Brands and Deere & Co.

It's also slightly below State Street Corp.


— 10:53 a.m.: The opening price values Twitter at $31.3 billion.

To calculate its value, the AP is using 694.8 million shares that Twitter is expected to have outstanding after the IPO, counting restricted shares and stock options it plans to issue to employees. At the $26 IPO price, the value was more than $18 billion.


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


— 10:50 a.m.: Range is now $45 to $45.25, or up to 74 percent above IPO price. Very close to debut.

RT @KenSweet: They're closing the book.


— 10:45 a.m. AP's @KenSweet says current bid is $45.25. The debut is near in #TwitterIPO.


— 10:40 a.m.: Patrick Stewart tweets on #Ring of opening bell as Twitter trade debut imminent.

RT @SirPatStew: Honored to join @ev @jack @biz @dickc & the @Twitter team at their historic IPO this morning. #Ring! pic.twitter.com/XaJpYW2kIh


— 10:35 a.m.: It's getting close to Twitter's stock debut. First indication for opening price is even narrower: $45.50-$46.50.

The high end would be 79 percent above its IPO price.


— 10:30 a.m.: AP's @KenSweet now says opening price narrowed: $45-$47.

He reports: "This is a good sign. Could mean we're finding the right price. Progress."


— 10:20 a.m.: AP's @KenSweet says opening price is expected even higher: $43-$47.

The range for first indication means Twitter could start trading at up to 81 percent above its IPO price.


— 10:15 a.m.: RT @KenSweet: I've heard some traders mention that this may not open until 1030, maybe 11. But things are changing rapidly.


— 10:10 a.m.: AP market reporter @KenSweet explains the role @Barclays has in #TwitterIPO.

Trading for Twitter's stock is under the supervision of Barclays Capital. Twitter hired the bank to be its "designated market maker." A DMM supervises the trading of a company's stock. He or she is an experienced trader in charge of ensuring that buying and selling go smoothly. If trading becomes volatile, the DMM can step in and buy shares using his or her firm's own money.

DMMs are especially important the day a company goes public, because the DMM coordinates between Twitter, the company's investment banks and NYSE's floor traders to get a stock trading. If technical problems arise, the NYSE uses DMMs to bypass electronic trading systems, allowing humans to trade a company's stock. That is not possible on all-electronic stock exchanges such as the Nasdaq, which had technical problems during Facebook's IPO last year.

Barclays' role as Twitter's DMM does not mean it is in charge of the entire IPO process. That role falls to Twitter's investment banks: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/twitter-picks-barclays-coordinate-ipo-trading

— Ken Sweet, New York, @KenSweet


— 10 a.m.: #TwitterIPO first indication for opening price: $42-46.

That means Twitter could start trading at up to 77 percent above its IPO price. Trading is to begin soon as representatives from Barclays continue negotiations to find the right price.

— Ken Sweet, New York, @KenSweet


— 9:50 a.m.: With the #Ring of the #NYSEBell past, what will happen? @KenSweet reports.

Traders gather around Twitter's booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. At Twitter's post, the company's "designated market maker" starts taking orders from the traders, who are representing dozens of firms and hundreds of investors.

The goal of the DMM, who used to be known as the NYSE's specialists, is to figure out what is the best price to start trading Twitter's shares.

Due to massive investor and media interest in Twitter, the actual negotiation over what are the right price for Twitter's now-public shares will take some time. It could take as little as 20 minutes, or it could take an hour. The NYSE wants to avoid the trading debacle that Nasdaq faced with last year's Facebook's IPO, so it's going to be careful.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/going-public-how-twitters-ipo-will-work

— Ken Sweet, New York, @KenSweet


— 9:40 a.m.: The market is open at @nyse, though Twitter's stock won't trade right away.

RT @NYSEEuronext: #RING! Markets OPEN. #NYSEBell has rung, now begins #TwitterIPO price discovery. Wait for it . pic.twitter.com/gPxGgB6QWa

The opening bid is $35, reports AP's @KenSweet. It's the first indication of where the stock will open later in the morning.

As the NYSE's opening bell was rung, the graphic below displayed the hashtag #Ring!

Who rang the bell?

RT @NYSEEuronext: @Twitter owes success to its users, so gives #NYSEBell to @SirPatrickStew, @VivienneHarr & @Bostonpolice #TwitterIPO pic.twitter.com/fAprlGV8Vs

— Bree Fowler, New York, @APBreeFowler


— 9:25 a.m.: What's being said on Twitter? IPO is the 10th most popular trending topic in the U.S.

IPO is behind Thanksgiving, Texas, NFL and #throwbackthursday.

Worldwide, it doesn't make into the Top 10. Nobel Prize-winning author Albert Camus does. It's his birthday, after all.

— Barbara Ortutay, New York, @BarbaraOrtutay


— 9:05 a.m.: RT @KenSweet: Floor trader Kenneth Polcari thinks twitter's $26 share price is pretty fair. Doesn't expect it to double on the open.


— 8:50 a.m.: Busy morning at @nyse trading floor, reports AP's @KenSweet

RT @KenSweet: Orders for Twitter have been coming in since 8 am, floor trader Jonathan Corpina tells me. Very busy.

RT @KenSweet: Corpina expects a smooth opening. The NYSE does IPOs all the time, he says. The difference here is volume and media attention.

RT @KenSweet: Traders use these handheld wireless computers to send orders. Paper orders ended a long time ago: pic.twitter.com/bwz8UK4xcB


— 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.

The NYSE isn't taking any chances with Twitter. The exchange tested its trading software on Oct. 26 to prepare for Twitter's debut. If the NYSE faces technical problems with its ordering software, the exchange can switch over the traditional human-based stock trading that dominated Wall Street for decades.

RT @KenSweet: NYSE traders and execs are really playing up the human element to this IPO. It's a shot across the bow at the Nasdaq.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/twitter-list-new-york-stock-exchange

— Ken Sweet, New York, @KenSweet


— 8:20 a.m.: AP markets reporter @KenSweet says media outnumber traders 5:1 @nyse trading floor

It's a media madhouse. But it's still more than an hour before the opening bell, so more traders should be coming. Expect a big crowd.

RT @KenSweet: The NYSE is decorated head to toe. with twitter logos. They went big here to promote: pic.twitter.com/pnwRQ9e6QG


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

It should come as no surprise that Twitter used Twitter to announce its public stock debut.

It began with a tweet on Sept. 12: The 7-year-old company posted on its official Twitter account that it has "confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO." Details about offering emerged after the IPO documents were released publicly later.

On Oct. 24, Twitter set its IPO price target at $17 to $20 per share. It raised that to $23 and $25 per share, signaling an enthusiastic response from prospective investors. The actual price on Wednesday night was even higher, at $26. That bodes well for the company's stock when trading begins.

Twitter also took to Twitter to announce that price: https://twitter.com/twitter/status/398235511254298624/photo/1

The company is offering 70 million shares in the IPO, plus an option to buy another 10.5 million. If all shares are sold, the IPO will raise $2.09 billion, making it the biggest IPO for an Internet company since Facebook raised $16 billion last year.

Of course, Facebook made its debut with high hopes, only to see its stock fall below the IPO price by the second day of trading. Twitter has valued itself at just a fraction of Facebook and sought to cool expectations in the months and weeks leading up to the offering.

— Barbara Ortutay, New York, @BarbaraOrtutay