How Twitter’s First-Day Pop Compares to Other Tech IPOs
Business + Economy

How Twitter’s First-Day Pop Compares to Other Tech IPOs

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Scrolling through a list of the biggest first-day “pops” for Internet and technology IPOs is like entering a time machine set for the go-go days of the dotcom boom.

Many of the names may still be familiar, even if they’re no longer around: Ask Jeeves (with a 364 percent pop), Sycamore Networks (386 percent) and (606 percent) flared spectacularly and then flamed out, quickly or over time. VA Software tops the historic list with a one-day jump of nearly 700 percent, according to Dealogic. Only a few of the stocks –, Akamai Technologies – have established themselves as something significantly more than one-day wonders.

For all the frenzy surrounding its first day of trading, Twitter (TWTR) doesn’t even come close to making the list. In the context of dotcom mania, Twitter’s first-day gain almost seems reasonable: The social messaging service’s stock finished its first day of public trading at $44.90 a share, up 73 percent from its $26 IPO price. But then, those ‘90s Internet IPOs were far smaller than Twitter’s, which raised as much as $2.1 billion. Among larger U.S. stock offerings – those that raised $500 million or more – Twitter’s pop ranks as the sixth biggest, according to Dealogic data cited by The Wall Street Journal.


Twitter’s first-day gain was also far higher than the average 17 percent “pop” for new U.S. stock listings this year and better than nearly all of the opening performances posted by the largest tech and Internet IPOs.

Top 20 Tech IPOs
Issuer Total Value $ including Non-Deal (m) Exchange Pricing Date % Change Price Offer/1 Day
Facebook Inc. 16,007 Nasdaq May 12, 2012 0.6
Infineon Technologies AG 5,856 Frankfurt General, NYSE Mar. 12, 2000 100.4
Agere Systems Inc 4,140 NYSE Mar. 27, 2001 0.3
Tycom LTD 2,250 NYSE Jul. 26, 2000 12.5
Agilent 2,160 NYSE Nov. 17, 1999 48.3
Verisk Analytics Inc. 2,156 Nasdaq Oct. 6, 2009 23.7
Google 1,916 Nasdaq Aug. 18, 2004 18.0
Genuity Inc. 1,913 Nasdaq Jun. 27, 2000 -14.5
Semicondictor Manufacturing International 1,803 NYSE Mar. 12, 2004 -11.4
Freescale Semiconductor Inc 1,690 NYSE Jul. 16, 2004 7.9
EPCOS AG 1,633 Frankfurt General, NYSE Oct. 14, 1999 8.1
Yandex NV 1,435 Nasdaq May 23, 2011 55.4
Infonet Services Corp 1,238 NYSE Dec. 15, 1999 27.1
Alcatel Optronics SA 1,205 Nasdaq, Paris Oct. 19, 2000 -0.6
VMWare Inc. 1,101 NYSE Aug. 13, 2007 75.9
LG Philips LCD Co. LTD 1,059 Korea, NYSE Jul. 15, 2004 -6.3
KPNQwest BV 1,054 Amsterdam, Nasdaq Nov. 9, 1999 51.5
Shanda Games Ltd. 1,044 Nasdaq Sep. 24, 2009 -14.0
Giant Interactive Group Inc. 1,020 NYSE Oct. 31, 2007 17.6
NavTeq Corp 1,012 NYSE Aug. 5, 2004 15.0
Source: Dealogic

Twitter’s surge means that investors who bought into the initial offering are sitting pretty even as those who bought shares at the opening price of $45.10 lost a bit of money. The pop prompted analyst Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group to downgrade the stock to “sell” shortly after it started trading. The shares, he wrote, would be fairly valued in the high $20 to low $30 range. “However,” he added, “with a price that pushes into the high 30s and beyond, Twitter is simply too expensive.”

The first-day jump also means that, for all the warnings about Twitter's lofty initial valuation and for all the reminders that the social messaging service has yet to post a profit, the company likely left a sizable chunk of change – more than $1 billion – on the table.

Still, the company’s IPO will go down as a successful one, and a sharp contrast to the problem-plagued debut of Facebook’s stock last year. Now Twitter just has to prove that it can reward investors’ enthusiasm.

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