Twitter Upends Tech Conventions Again by Picking NYSE

Jacob Harper  |

In keeping with the trend of doing everything Facebook Inc. (FB) did not do in their IPO, burgeoning social media giant Twitter decided to go with the New York Stock Exchange for their own planned debut on the public market.

Going with the NYSE is unusual for major tech companies, as Facebook, Google Inc. (GOOG) and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) all went with NASDAQ. But the move to NYSE is usual for a tech company who in nearly every aspect of their own IPO process is trying to avoid repeating Facebook’s disastrous road to going public.

In Facebook’s mess of an IPO, NASDAQ experienced a major glitch that might have cost investors millions. Facebook blamed the glitch for marring the company’s stock price, which stayed underneath the IPO price for sixteen months.

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Twitter is also seeking to distance themselves from Facebook’s IPO process by retaining Goldman Sachs Group (GS) as underwriters, instead of tech company go-to Morgan Stanley (MS) . For years Morgan Stanley's tech team was the gold standard of tech IPO and was hailed as being "untouchable." However, Morgan Stanley has lost that reputation, as they first disappointed with Groupon Inc’s (GRPN) public offering before flubbing Facebook's IPO in spectacular fashion.

Twitter is taking very careful steps to not repeat these performances, and analysts in turn are much more assured the company won’t be doing a reprise of Facebook’s “FacePlant” intial overvaluation. Twitter made sure to successfully monetize mobile first, and expects mobile to account for 53 percent of revenue in 2013. Facebook’s mobile advertising revenue is around 41 percent now, but was at zero when they went public.

In terms of the ease in getting onto the market, Twitter is also simply a much, much smaller company than Facebook. The transition from private to public is expected to be much less cumbersome, and less fraught with wild hype and speculation, than Facebook’s $104 billion IPO bonanza was.

Though an exact date is not set, Twitter’s hotly anticipated IPO is expected to take place before Thanksgiving 2013. The company is expected to raise between $1.4 billion and $1.65 billion at a price of between $28 and $30 a share, which would put the total value of the company around $15 billion.


(image courtesy of Flickr)

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