#Zoom! Twitter opens at $45.10 in long-awaited debut

The wildly popular microblogging site is now a publicly traded company, with investor enthusiasm launching shares up 73 percent from Twitter's set price.

Twitter IPO opening bell
On Twitter's first day of trading, actor Patrick Stewart (right) was on hand for the opening bell. At left, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and co-founder Jack Dorsey. The first trade of TWTR came more than an hour after the market opened. CNBC/Screenshot by CNET

Twitter has finally gone public, and as expected, its shares have surged in early trading.

Twitter had priced its shares at $26 on Wednesday under the ticker symbol TWTR, but at the start of trading Thursday morning shares quickly rose 73 percent to $45.10. An initial pop is commonplace for a major IPO as investors jump at the chance to own its shares. More volatility is expected throughout the day.

As of this writing, Twitter's shares have topped out at $47.24 before settling to the $46 range.

Twitter's IPO went off without all of the glitches and issues that plagued Facebook's initial offering last year . Facebook's botched kickoff last year pushed back the start of trading and ultimately caused trading errors. Investors and traders who lost funds in the initial transaction sued Nasdaq, claiming it was negligent in its handling of the IPO.

Facebook's initial offering was also hobbled by the company's decision to boost the number of shares available to the public at the last minute. The overvaluing, coupled with Facebook's troubles monetizing mobile, caused the social network's shares to plummet. It took more than a year for Facebook's stock price to recover.

Twitter, which is raising $1.82 billion in its offering, still faces financial challenges of its own. The company has yet to score a single cent in profit. During the nine-month period ended September 30, Twitter generated $422.2 million in revenue . The social network lost $133.9 million.

Twitter has also been criticized for its lopsided business. A disproportionate amount of its revenue -- 75 percent -- comes from the US. However, 78 percent of its users are overseas. Twitter says that it makes $2.58 per 1,000 timeline views in the US. Internationally, that figure drops to 36 cents.

We will continue to update this story throughout the day with updates on Twitter's IPO day performance.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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