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Twitter stock soars in IPO

Microblogging site’s IPO is second-biggest Internet IPO after Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Twitter Inc.’s stock soared 80% Thursday as the microblogging site began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in the second-biggest Internet initial public offering in history.

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR)  opened at $45.10, after setting an IPO price of $26, above its upwardly revised range of $23 to $25. The San Francisco-based social network offered to sell 70 million shares, the biggest Internet trading debut since Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB)  launch in May 2012.

The stock was last climbing 82% to $47.25 on volume of more than 44 million shares.

Twitter’s debut is the latest chapter in the rise of the social-media sector, led by companies such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)  and LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) .

Twitter’s strong open also appeared to point to a far more successful launch than Facebook, whose IPO drew intense media and public attention, but turned into a big flop.

In May 2012, Facebook saw its stock, with the IPO price of $38, soar but then lose steam when it began trading in heavy volume of more than 580 million shares. The stock closed on its first-day with a 23-cent gain.

The stock then began sliding below its $38 IPO price and stayed there until this summer, when Facebook’s second-quarter report in late July showed strong growth in mobile ads and sparked strong trading that has since pushed the stock above the $50 mark.

Facebook’s comeback was based largely on its steadily expanding mobile ad business, which now makes up nearly half of its total advertising.

Twitter is expected to post even stronger growth in that arena, given its nature as a real-time network which has also become popular platform for live conversations about TV broadcasts and other events that is also used by famous people, ranging from the pope to Justin Bieber.

Twitter is to make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today at $26 per share, plus, the U.S. State Department is pushing Germany for more details of the Nazi-confiscated artworks, and was Yasser Arafat poisoned? Photo: Getty Images.

“With Twitter’s IPO there will be an increase in audience growth and wider initiatives to bring in a wider audience,” Frans Van Hulle, chief executive of ReviMedia, said. “For marketers, the IPO does not only mean a wider reach thanks to a growing audience, but also a multitude of untapped monetization opportunities.”

But not all analysts were impressed with Twitter’s launch. Brian Hamilton, chairman of Sageworks, a financial information firm, has warned of overvaluation in the Twitter IPO, noting that the company remains unprofitable.