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Thursday, micro-blogging site Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) will debut as a publicly traded company on Wall Street's Big Board. Many analysts – including those at Money Morning – will steer clear of the hotly anticipated IPO – but TWTR has had no trouble generating investor interest.
The San Francisco-based company even increased its price range Monday on roughly 70 million shares from $17 to $20 per share to $23 to $25. The move values the company at a whopping $13.9 billion, or 26 times its revenue over the last 12 months. Twitter hopes to raise as much as $1.75 billion.
TWTR is still a mere sliver (10%) of Facebook Inc.'s (Nasdaq: FB) debut size, and more akin to LinkedIn's (NYSE: LNKD) 7.8 million share ($406 million) offering. Twitter aimed to avoid a repeat of the Facebook IPO fiasco by selling a modestly sized and reasonably priced deal.
On May 18, 2012, Facebook sold 421.2 million shares at $38 apiece, amassing a hefty $16 billion in new capital. Facebook's IPO became the largest tech offering ever (but far from the best).
It was also the third largest overall in U.S. history, behind only General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), which raised $18.1 billion in its November 2010 market debut, and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), which raised $19.65 billion in March 2008.
In honor of Twitter's launch, we take a look back at the biggest tech IPOs and include the most lucrative deal to date. The list is an eclectic mix and timely reminder of the risks and rewards of IPO investing.
Top Ten Tech IPOs
The roster comes via data from public-offering research firm Renaissance Capital. Should Twitter achieve its goal of raising $1.75 billion, it would move to No. 2 on the following list:
10. Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: OWW). Seemingly doomed from the start, the travel site went public on July 19, 2007. Thirty-four million shares were priced at $15 a share, below the $16 to $18 investors were expecting. The Chicago-based company raised $510 million. Shares dipped as low as $14.50 during its first day of trading and are now more than half off at $7.34.
9. Groupon Inc. (Nasdaq: GRPN). The daily deals site debuted Nov. 4, 2011, selling 35 million shares at $20 each, above the expected $16 to $18 to accommodate frenzied demand. The Chicago-based company became the largest Internet company since Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) launch in 2004. Shares hit $31.14 its first day of trading, but fell to $2.60 over the next several months. The stock now trades at less than half its offering price.