Twitter raises price range for IPO

SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter Inc., signaling demand for its shares are high among institutional investors, has raised the price range for its initial public offering to $23 to $25 ahead of what is expected to be stock's first day of trading Thursday.

The boost means the stock could be priced at the high end of the range and value the company at $13.6 billion. Twitter plans to sell 70 million shares.

The company initially said it would sell the shares at $17 to $20 apiece, a range that was below analyst expectations.

It's also a departure from Twitter's plans to be the "anti-Facebook IPO." One of the mistakes that Facebook made was to aggressively raise the price of its shares right before the IPO. The move contributed to a decline in its share price after its IPO last year.

Twitter executives have been pitching its IPO to investors in a "road show" to major U.S. cities.

Still, investors are skeptical, according to a new Associated Press-CNBC poll.

Nearly half of active investors — those who adjusted their holdings over the last year — say Twitter would not be a good investment. Forty percent said it would be a good investment. Before Facebook's IPO in May 2012, an AP-CNBC poll found that 54% of active investors thought Facebook would be a good investment, 38% said that it would not.

BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield said his firm's recommendation had not changed.

"We would participate within the $23-$25 range, albeit, simple math would dictate that management should price at the bottom end of the new range," he said in a research note. Previously, he had assumed Twitter would price its shares at the high end of the $17-to-$20 range, he said.

Greenfield added that BTIG sees a "path to $30 over the next year, particularly with our estimates well above management expectations." That does not include Twitter's video-sharing service Vine.

Twitter is expected to price its shares Wednesday, which would mean the stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

A spokesman for Twitter could not be reached for comment.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World