Twitter Boosts IPO Price Range

Created: 11/04/2013 12:09 PM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen

Photo: MGN Online
Photo: MGN Online

Twitter's confidence appears to be increasing ahead of its initial public offering set for later this week.
    
The 7-year-old short messaging service on Monday boosted the price range for the IPO, saying that it now expects to price its shares at between $23 and $25 each. It previously planned to sell the shares for between $17 and $20 each.
    
At its new range, the IPO could raise more than $2 billion.
    
The increase doesn't come as a big surprise. Many observers considered the previous pricing to be relatively conservative, given that Twitter is poised to pull off the year's hottest IPO. And some predicted that rather than set its expectations too high; the company would likely raise its pricing in the days leading up to the IPO.
    
Twitter said in its regulatory filing that it still plans to sell 70 million shares. If all of those shares are sold, the offering's underwriters can buy another 10.5 million shares.
    
At the $25 share price, Twitter's market value would be around $15.6 billion. Twitter's value is based on 625.2 million outstanding shares expected after the offering, including restricted stock units and stock options.
    
Some analysts had expected that figure to be as high as $20 billion. But Twitter's caution suggests that the company learned from Facebook's rocky IPO last year.
    
Facebook's IPO was marred by technical glitches on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in May of 2012.  As a result, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined Nasdaq $10 million, the largest ever levied against an exchange. Those problems likely led Twitter to the New York Stock Exchange.
    
The San Francisco-based company plans to list its stock under the ticker symbol "TWTR" on the NYSE. Twitter will begin trading on the NYSE on Thursday morning after setting a price for its IPO sometime Wednesday evening.
    
Twitter also said in its filing that it received a letter from IBM accusing it of infringing on three of its patents. The letter asks Twitter to take part in settlement negotiations, but Twitter said in its filing that it believes it has a "meritorious defense" to the allegations.
    
Meanwhile, the company faces skepticism from potential investors and the broader public, according to an Associated Press-CNBC poll.
    
According to the poll released Monday, Some 36 percent of Americans say buying Twitter shares would be a good investment, while 47 percent disagree. Last May, ahead of Facebook's IPO, 51 percent of Americans said Facebook Inc. would be a good investment. Just 31 percent didn't agree.
    
And surprisingly, 52 percent of people ages 18 to 34 say investing in the company's stock is not a good idea.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)