Twitter Files To Go Public… Tweets IPO News
The day is finally here and the sighs of relief can be heard from New York to Tokyo. Just a week after acquiring mobile ad exchange company MoPub for $350 million in stock, microblogging rock star Twitter broke the news in a tweet (how else?) announcing that it has filed its S-1 documents with the SEC for a proposed initial public offering. Speculation surrounding a possible IPO has been rife for the past year. There was never really doubt that the company would file, but conjecture on timing has kept Wall Street analysts on their collective toes for some time now. The IPO is, without doubt, the most highly anticipated since Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) went public in May of 2012.
We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.
— Twitter (@twitter) September 12, 2013
A ballpark valuation for Twitter can be established through where its shares trade in online secondary markets. Though a firm figure is difficult to pin down, secondary sales of Twitter stock have valued the company at upwards of $10 billion. In addition, pursuant to SEC rules established in the JOBS Act, Twitter qualifies as an emerging growth company and has filed its S-1 confidentially. This means that the company’s annual revenue is under $1 billion and the document will remain private until 21 days prior to Twitter pitching itself to heavy weight investors on Wall Street. The filing doesn’t compel Twitter to set a timeline for selling its shares. In the meantime, the company and its bankers can speak with the SEC in confidence.
If the company goes public sooner rather than later, it could capitalize on an upbeat market and healthy period for IPOs. The U.S. IPO market is on track to produce almost 200 debuts this year, which would be the most since 2007. IPOs have performed well for investors, the average return being 32% thus far from offer price in 2013, on top of jumping an average of 13.1% in their first day of trading.
In order to succeed, Twitter will have to prove to investors that its ad business is viable. Many marketers still see Twitter as an experiment rather than a tool to lure consumers into a brick and mortar establishment or to pull people to websites. Although Twitter has over 200 million users, advertisers cite reluctance about the size of the company, which draws smaller numbers than Facebook. The acquisition of MoPub may be the cure to what ails the company on the advertising front.
In the meantime, it will be interesting to follow the company’s journey from filing to actual IPO. Hopefully it learned a thing or two from the Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN) and Facebook IPO debacles. Time will tell.
Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
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