SAN FRANCISCO -- Twitter's stock began trading with a massive pop on Thursday at $45.10 -- 73% above from its initial public offering price -- before rising even higher.
The stock jumped to $50 in just 10 minutes before it pulled back to about $46, giving Twitter a market value of more than $30 billion.
In the hottest IPO of the year, Twitter priced its 70 million shares at $26, above the expected range of $23 to $25.
Investors are clamoring for a piece of the hot Internet stock because of its potential growth. Analysts credited Twitter with handling its IPO "exactly right" in contrast to the bungled Facebook IPO in May 2012.
Twitter founders Jack Dorsey, Ev Williams and Biz Stone were on hand with Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo to witness first-hand the beginning of trading.
Twitter opened its offices in San Francisco early at 5:30 a.m. so hundreds of employees could watch the first trade live from the company's cafeteria. Later Thursday the company will hold "tea time."
Costolo said he was flying back to San Francisco on Thursday in hopes of watching the closing bell with Twitter staff members.