Closed As it happened: Twitter’s first day of trading

Twitter began life as a public company today when it started trading on the New York Stock Exchange in the most closely watched initial public offering of the year.

The San Francisco-based company priced its shares on Wednesday at $26 a piece. It raised about $2.1bn by selling 80.5m shares, or about 13 per cent of the company.

The shares closed up 73 per cent at $44.90.

Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw reported from San Francisco and Arash Massoudi was at the NYSE in Manhattan.

Our man at the stock exchange, Arash Massoudi, has snapped a few pictures as things get ready to kick off:

Arash reports:

The floor of the stock exchange is buzzing as Twitter executives, its bankers, floor traders and media are standing shoulder to shoulder preparing for the company to ring the opening bell. Dick Costolo, chief executive, and Jack Dorsey, chairman, are on the floor along with their chief financial officer, Mike Gupta.

Traders have gathered around the Barclays post on the floor of the exchange preparing for the opening auction.

Patrick Stewart, the British actor from Star Trek and X-Men, is among the people who will ring the opening bell.

Arash notes that Twitter will ring the opening bell at 9:30am ET (and we’re told a surprise is in store).

Shares in the messaging platform will open some time after that as traders exchange floor will run an opening auction to determine the level at which Twitter shares will start trading.

Traders said the event was “a big day” for NYSE and was a testament to their model that incorporated a human touch to otherwise mostly electronic trading. NYSE has unleashed an arsenal of marketing staff on the floor of the exchange and is clearly using the event to market its business, which competes with rival Nasdaq for share trading and new listings.

Twitter’s IPO is the most high profile since Facebook’s in May 2012 and investors will be watching to see if its opening day will be smoother than its social media rival, which opened to problems on the Nasdaq and traded lower in its first few months as a public company.

Early indications are $35, which would be a valuation of $24.2bn including all outstanding shares, 694 in total.

Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive, said he’s proud but anxious to get back to work. He seems very excited.

Mr Costolo says they tried to have a “clean, methodical” process – one class of shares, only primary issue (and he didn’t mention, but a price designed to ensure it rises in the first trades).

Now he’s talking about what they want to do next: improve the “onboarding” experience. This is Silicon Valley talk for making it easier for people to use to grow the user base beyond the hardcore 230m monthly users it has now.

All about building a long, long, long-term business – Dick likes long term so much he says it thrice.

Meanwhile TWTR appears to have broken Google Finance which is showing “server error” when you search for it.

Costolo says Twitter made it clear it wanted to be an independent company so it was “fairly easy” to make the kind of decisions it made. He’s referring to Twitter’s long list of suitors which has included Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Ashton Kutcher and Al Gore.

Twitter will continue to invest in TV and expanding internationally with unique regional content on the platform.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is on CNBC. Asked about profitability, he says:

“There is nothing structural in our business that prevents us from achieving the kinds of margins of other companies in our peer group.” He says he’ll continue to invest – Twitter and TV, onboarding, people on the ground around the world driving “unique regional content” on to the platform.

“We will continue to make those investments as long as we see tremendous growth.”

Costolo asked if Facebook has stolen from them – by copying hashtags etc. He shrugs off the copycats.

Asked on CNBC about user growth slowing, he says:

“We’ve had consistent tremendous growth across the world frankly for the last several year.” Twitter has a set of “tactics and strategies” to improve the experience for new users, such as making a better “onboarding” experience into Twitter, to bridge the gap between “massive awareness” of the service and engagement.

From Arash Massoudi at the NYSE:

Traders are gathered around Barclays post on the floor of the exchange. The bank’s floor brokers are in charge of making a market in the messaging platform’s shares and will be administering the opening auction. Traders are shouting out prices and trying to gauge where the market is.

Dick Costolo admits to unfollowing lots of accounts (well he actually said he follows lots of accounts but changes them all the time…)

Why are Twitter’s revenues outside the US so low? In many countries, Twitter doesn’t even have a sales force, says Mr Costolo. It is investing in the US first, making sure that small businesses can buy ads, before rolling it out internationally.

More from Arash Massoudi at the NYSE:

Boston police head of social media Cheryl Fiandaca was among the people who rang the opening bell this morning.

“We did social media during the marathon and the manhunt. We used Twitter to let people know what was going on. It was the only way we could communicate public safety information. -It was invaluable.”

Dick Costolo said he picked the NYSE because he liked the way the exchange thought about the future of Twitter and used Twitter. No mention of the Nasdaq messing up the Facebook IPO.

The scene at Twitter HQ before dawn in San Francisco this morning:

Just a handful of protesters had gathered to complain about tax breaks given to Twitter to lure it to a rundown area of SF and the subsequent impact on rents. Another protest is planned for lunchtime.

Dick Costolo will be flying for most of the day to try to be with the team in San Francisco for the market close. That’s a five-hour flight so he’ll miss much of the pricing shenanigans.

Asked about recent revelations about infighting between Twitter’s founders, Mr Costolo tells CNBC:

“Startups always evolve from the beginning, particularly the successful companies…

“For me specifically, we have so much work to do and so much work ahead of us in service to meeting the goals of the company… I don’t have any time to look back and think about what happened three years ago.”

Ooh, now indicating Twitter could open between $40 and $44.

$44 would be 70 per cent higher than the $26 IPO price.

According to Dealogic, Twitter will be the biggest US venture capital-backed IPO of 2013 so far and “potentially the third largest on record behind Facebook and Fox Entertainment Group ($2.8bn)”.

Assuming the over-allotment is fully exercised, at $2.1bn Twitter’s IPO is the second largest IPO by an American internet company on record, behind Facebook ($16.0bn) and ahead of Google ($1.9bn).

US listed Technology or Internet IPOs have raised $7.8bn (41 deals) in 2013 YTD, compared to $20.5bn (25 deals) last YTD, although Facebook accounted for $16.0bn of the 2012 YTD total. The peak full year was 1999, when 373 IPOs raised $39.9bn

Top 3 US Issuer Internet IPOs on Record:

1. Facebook – $16.0bn | Nasdaq | May 2012

2. Twitter – $2.1bn* | NYSE | Nov 2013

3.Google – $1.9bn | Nasdaq | Aug 2004

Patrick Stewart, who had a hand in ringing the bell, says it is a little bit late in the day for him to become a poster boy for any organisation.

He said he only joined Twitter under duress from his PR people, thinking it was “silly”. But now he said it has become one of the most important parts of his life, changing the public perception of himself from being a noble, honest, decent person to being a clown…

That would be a valuation of $29bn to $31bn.

Actor Sir Patrick Stewart revealed to CNBC of the ringing of the NYSE opening bell: “That was not my finger.”

Arash Massoudi and Hannah Kuchler bring you the story of Twitter’s road to IPO.

After at least two months in secret talks, eight weeks of generating headlines and 10 days of meeting investors in eight US cities, Twitter ended its journey to becoming a public company back where it started: pricing its shares at $26 each.

Before Twitter announced its plans to go public at the start of September, shares were priced at $26 on the private market, giving it an equity value of $18bn.

Read the rest here.

You wait years for a Jack Dorsey IPO then two come along at once… Not only is Twitter going public today, Square – the mobile payments service he also co-founded – is beginning early-stage talks with banks about a possible IPO next year, the FT reported last night. Read that story here.

Remember, if it gets to $52 it is double the IPO price and over the highest analyst target price we’ve seen.

With pricing for the first trades now likely to come in around $45-46, our Lex columnist says it’s difficult to determine exactly how to value Twitter:

Here’s how to make Twitter look dirt cheap at $26: simply assume it’s Facebook…. Surely a price to earnings ratio of 40 makes sense for a company growing like that. Followers, it is late 2018, and little Twitter is trading at $134.

but things could turn out differently…

So let’s call it a 50 per cent growth for five years… cut the p/e ratio to a still-meaty 25, given the slower growth. In this 2018, Twitter has still just had a deliriously good five years. But its shares are worth $36. Discounted at 10 per cent a year, their 2013 value is $22.

The full Lex note is here.

Do you remember when they first priced at $17? That initial range came just last week.

Meanwhile other tech stocks are down lower than the market – Facebook has fallen 2.3 per cent, Linked In lower by 1.9 per cent and Google down 1.2 per cent.

As the opening price for Twitter creeps higher, here are yesterday’s words of warning from Mary Jo White, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, on technology companies that rely on “sheer magnitude” of user numbers as their main measure of performance:

“In the absence of a clear description, it can be hard not to think that these big numbers will inevitably translate into big profits for the company. But the connection may not necessarily be there.”

“What if only a fraction of those users are paying customers? What does that mean for future financial results? What if the bulk of the growth in the number of users is in an area where the company has not yet figured out how to turn those users into paying customers? What does that then say about the meaning of user growth rates?”

Read the FT’s full story here.

Words of caution from The Street’s stock picker, Jim “Booyah” Kramer…

Valuations of some other consumer internet companies have also been rising fast: online scrapbooking site Pinterest raised money at a $3.8bn valuation last month and rumours abound that Snapchat, the app to send photos that disappear, could be looking at a number almost as high.

Read the FT’s full story here.

Jack Dorsey’s dad on Jack’s haircut:

So how much do YOU think Twitter is worth? Play with the FT’s Lex valuation calculator.

You can also compare Twitter’s numbers with rivals Facebook and Linked In, here

No tweets from early Twitter frontman Biz Stone about the IPO yet – he’s working on his new project, Jelly, which he said earlier this week is “very close to launching”.

Our society is more connected than ever before. There are billions of people using social networks and mobile devices. We have eight people at Jelly with a plan to build something we think is meaningful atop this foundation. Jelly will be a free mobile app available for both Android and iOS devices.

And who is in the money? On an $18bn valuation there was only one founder who whose stake would be worth more than $1bn: Evan Williams. But now it looks like both Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone could become billionaires from the offering. Mr Dorsey has a 4.9 per cent stake and all we know about Mr Stone’s shares is he has less than 5 per cent.

Emoticon And Twitter has opened at $45.10 – a valuation of $32bn.

Nicely done, @jack – a reference here to the first tweet…

A tweet from Anthony Noto, co-head of global TMT investment banking at Goldman Sachs, Twitter’s lead underwriter

Still rising, now up 80 per cent.

The view right now from inside Twitter’s product team… Not exactly wild scenes of jubilation in the Nest.

Twitter is now trading at $48.79 – up 87.65% from its $26 pricing last night

Right now, Twitter is valued higher than LinkedIn – $25.7bn v $24.2bn, on Google Finance’s market cap valuation

Twitter now up 90 per cent… almost touched $50 there for a second.

As Twitter touches $50 a share, up 90 per cent on its $26 pricing last night, the huge pop in Twitter’s shares this morning is already prompting some commentators to suggest that it left too much money on the table. Fortune’s Dan Primack writes:

Twitter began trading this morning at $45.10 per share, after pricing its IPO last night at $26 per share. Or, put another way, Twitter left more than $1.3 billion on the table. Or, put even another way, more than twice what the company will generate in revenue this year.

Twitter stock has now topped $50… The only people who should be thrilled about this are Twitter’s bankers, who climbed over the Chinese wall to get a sweet deal for their high-net-worth clients.

Twitter itself obviously wanted a bit of price pop for PR and employee morale purposes, but here’s something else employees could be thinking about today: Had Twitter priced at $45.10 per share and used the extra proceeds to give out holiday bonuses, it would have worked out to more than $580,000 per employee.

It is back down to near where it started trading at $45 now.

Is this an ambitious prediction? I just don’t know anymore. (140 is the number of characters in a tweet)

Twitter’s M&A team could be getting ready as we speak – see our story from earlier this week:

Twitter is set to embark on an acquisition spree after its imminent initial public offering, going on the hunt for companies to help bolster its monetisation efforts.

The messaging platform, which is expected to list with a valuation of as much as $13.9bn this week, said it planned “substantial investment” to expand research and development including buying other companies for their products, technologies and staff.

Armed with the funds from the offering, a new $1bn credit line and a top mergers and acquisitions banker who joined the company from Morgan Stanley, analysts expect it to snap up more companies in the mould of the mobile advertising exchange MoPub which it bought last month.

From one early Twitter investor, at Charles River Ventures:

Some who were bullish on the stock are getting a little uneasy at these valuations.

Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research, said the early trades were “arguably too robust”.

“At a $45 price level the enterprise value is approximately $30bn, or almost the same valuation as Discovery Communications, and nearly the same valuation as CBS or the combined Publicis Omnicom Group…or even Yahoo,” he said.

Nothing lately from Twitter’s “forgotten” co-founder Noah Glass, but he had this to say a couple of months ago when news of the IPO emerged

If you want to know more about Twitter’s tumultuous early days, full of flaws and feuds…

see here

and here

Brian Wieser’s note just out: downgraded to sell.

We are downgrading our rating on Twitter to SELL as opening trading levels on Twitter fall well above a 15% range above our price target of $30 (modified from $29 previously to account for additional cash raised at the final $26 IPO price vs. the previously indicated $25 level). At a price in the high 20s or low 30s (which seems to us a reasonable price range) and based on our best assessment of Twitter’s growth prospects and appropriate drivers of our discounted cashflow valuation (all determined on a basis that is relative to the variables we use to value Google and Facebook), Twitter would be fairly valued. However, with a price that pushes into the high 30s and beyond, Twitter is simply too expensive. At a $45 price level (the stock opened at $45.10), the enterprise value is approximately $30bn…or almost the same valuation as Discovery Communications, and nearly the same valuation as CBS or the combined Publicis Omnicom Group…or even Yahoo (some will argue that Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba is worth this much, too).

Mr Wieser says the way to justify the $45 price is if you think it will generate more than $6bn in annual revenue by 2018. He says he thinks that is “overly optimistic” and he prefers Facebook.

Twitter’s market capitalisation stands at around $25bn. Here’s how that compares to other internet companies:
- Twitter is worth 10 per cent of Google’s $133bn, despite its $168m revenues for the last quarter being just 1 per cent of Google’s total sales of $14.9bn in the three months to September 30.
- less than a quarter of Facebook’s $116bn, with just 8 per cent of its latest quarterly revenues of $2bn.
- a touch ahead of LinkedIn’s $24bn – another company that saw a huge pop on its opening day
- Almost 10 times as much as Zynga and four times Groupon’s market cap – who are both still trading well below their IPO prices
- 7 times as much as Aol’s $3.3bn
- 25 per cent bigger than Netflix’s $19.5bn
- $10bn smaller than Yahoo’s $35bn (including its valuable stake in Alibaba)
- $3bn more than Dish Network, a US satellite TV company and a third smaller than CBS, the media conglomerate valued at $35bn
- For some comparators outside the tech and media worlds, CNBC notes that Twitter’s market cap means it’s about the same size as General Mills, bigger than farming equipment maker John Deere and brokerage Charles Schwab, twice the size of clothing retailer Ralph Lauren and three times as big as jeweller Tiffany & Co.

Reuters reports that consolidated volume on Twitter shares hit 5m after 30 minutes of trading.

Twitter’s co-founders have now arrived at its New York office. Yes, “supposed to sound like a nun farting in church” is the somewhat out-of-context quote from @biz there…

Given that brands are so important to Twitter’s future, this list of their first tweets, compiled by AdAge, is somewhat underwhelming.

Twitter was founded in 2006, but for brands it all began in 2009 when a critical mass of the nation’s biggest marketers started tweeting…. It appears that several brands were at a total loss for what to say.

The full list is here.

Robert Peck, an analyst at Sun Trust Robinson Humphreys who has a $50 price target on the stock, laid out what the assumptions someone would have to make if they bought the stock now:

To get a required rate of 20% return, which would imply a $90 stock price at the end of 2016, they would need to assume a 15 times multiple on $4bn of 2017 revenues.

A reminder that Twitter’s revenues for 2013 are forecast to be about $600m – but they have only just started selling ads and say they have lots more they could do, especially internationally.

William Mann of Virginia-based Motley Fool Asset Management, which offers mutual funds to retail investors, says:

“I predict that by the end of today a large percentage of Twitter’s shareholding base will have shifted from insiders and sophisticated institutions to individuals.”

Emoticon The hip kids at Twitter are serving celebratory cronuts at the SF office – appropriately enough, the most expensive pastry out there…

Just in case you don’t know what that is:…-00144feabdc0.html

Did Twitter CEO Dick Costolo really take the subway to the NYSE this morning?

Twitter’s head of revenue, ex-News Corp guy Adam Bain, is already going back to work

Aswath Damodaran, professor of finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University, has penned a savvy op-ed for Techcrunch on Twitter’s valuation:

It is not only possible but likely, in my view, that Twitter was both underpriced and over valued at its offering price.

At a 75 percent jump on the opening day, Twitter’s price jump is uncomfortably close to LinkedIn territory, but the effect of the underpricing on the existing owners (founders, VCs) is mitigated by the fact that only about 12 percent of the shares were available to the public in the IPO.

My valuation of Twitter yields a value of $18 per share and assumes that revenues will climb to about $11.5 billion in 2023… To justify the $45 per share, you would need the company to reach much higher. By my calculations, Twitter will have to generate about $32 billion in revenues in 2023, giving it, by my estimate, about 15 percent of the online advertising market in that year.

Read the whole thing here.

From the 9-year-old girl who rang the NYSE opening bell this morning…

Another good FB-TWTR chart from Enders Analysis’ Ian Maude

To many of Twitter’s addicted users, there is no argument about its valuation. Author Kathryn Schulz explains in the New Yorker today:

But Twitter, man. The medium I mocked most. The one I joined last, and was sure I’d quit first. The hardest to initially understand, and the most seemingly inane. The one so easily vilified from afar as antithetical to nuance, substance, elegance, depth. The one most at odds with my own country-mile prose. Also: the one I adore. The one to which I am addicted. And the one that, over the course of the past three years, in tiny nibbles exactly the size of this sentence, has proceeded to eat me alive.

In the book-nerd circles where I hang out, the most famous Twitter-hater by far is Jonathan Franzen, who has accused the service of being “unspeakably dumb,” “a coercive development,” “the ultimate irresponsible medium,” and “everything I oppose.”

What Franzen is wrong about is what actually transpires on Twitter. It’s not unspeakably dumb; the problem, in fact, is that it’s sufficiently smart and interesting that spending massive amounts of time on it is totally possible and semi-defensible.

I sometimes think that Twitter is such a parasite, and that I am one of its hosts, so effectively has it hacked my brain.

One for the Brits, who have been angsting over whether business secretary Vince Cable sold Royal Mail too cheap:

Many Twitter employees shared six-second vignettes of the opening bell ringing inside its San Francisco HQ using Vine, its short video service. Chris O’Brien of the LA Times has been retweeting some of the best:

Rich Barton, the serial entrepreneur who co-founded housing site Zillow and travel service Expedia, points to Twitter’s sky-high ratings on employee reviews site Glassdoor:

86 per cent of employees recommend this company to a friend

96 per cent approve of CEO Dick Costolo

Bloomberg Businessweek goes inside the technology of a tweet, with its brilliantly illustrated cover story

From the FT’s markets team, Michael Mackenzie and Vivianne Rodrigues set the Twitter IPO in context:

The massive rise in the price of Twitter shares as it began trading publicly on Thursday briefly made the company more valuable than heavyweights such as Time Warner and Yahoo.

Shares in Twitter opened at $45.10 on volume of 11m as trading in the social media company began on the New York Stock Exchange, quickly rising to a peak of $50.09, giving it a market capitalisation of $34.7bn.

That placed it at 137 among the ranks of S&P 500 members, just below CBS Corp, Automatic Data Processing and Bank of New York Mellon. But Twitter’s peak market capitalisation was ahead of Time Warner, Yahoo, DirecTV, General Dynamics, Kraft and General Mills.

“It’s incredible and a surprise to me to see a company worth more than other well-established companies,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank. “It’s hard to know how the stock will fare over time, but it’s a must-have name for social media investors, and that’s creating a feeding frenzy for it at the moment.”

Diversity remains an ongoing question in Silicon Valley and Twitter took some heat earlier in its IPO process about its all-male board. In a New York Times op-ed two weeks ago, Nicholas Kristof wrote:

Twitter is on schedule to go public as a company next month, a sparkling symbol of innovation, technology — and stale, old thinking reflected in a board of seven white men.

Twitter users are reportedly more likely to be female, so it’s bizarre to have no women on the board. But the main reason to add women — not just on Twitter’s board, but in politics, business and the news media — isn’t just equity. This shouldn’t be seen as a favor to women but as a step that would be good for all of us.

Could we see a close above $50??

$25bn, whatever, it’s all about the cronuts today – even at the FT’s San Francisco bureau, which it must be said does not have quite the same haute-cuisine canteen as the folks at Twitter down the road…

This debate about Twitter’s valuation is going to run and run… SF bureau chief Richard Waters writes:

Kevin Landis of First Hand Funds, which picked up a stake in Twitter while it was still private at an average price of $17, warns against trying to second-guess the market at $45: “It’s like arguing with the price of a barrel of oil.” The message, he says: Wall Street is desperate for companies with real growth and is prepared to pay up for them.

Meanwhile, as Silicon Valley dares to whisper the word “bubble” again, does Twitter at $25bn mean that other unprofitable tech startups raising money at $4bn valuations suddenly look reasonable?

The financial media, at least, has been waiting for this day for a looooong time. Here’s @ev on Bloomberg TV in 2008, when Twitter was just two years old

Some perspective on the hype around the hype from the Daily Beast’s Daniel Gross:

The deal is a huge, ginormous, all-enveloping story, in large part due to what I’d call a double example of selection bias.

What do I mean? Well, first, journalists are obsessed with the offering in a way that many other people aren’t. Twitter is our medium. Many of us live in it, and we all feel we’ve done our part to build it. And so many usually skeptical scribes are shamelessly rooting for Twitter to succeed. Twitter lists have replaced RSS and email newsletters. Tweets and retweets are the currency of buzz. We boast about our number of followers the way people used to boast about cover stories or right-lead front-page articles.

It’s also the rare technology/finance story that many writers understand intuitively. Many of the companies that have staged initial public offerings recently are not ones that members of the media elite use or interact act with. As a result, journalists are often caught unawares when they pop. Who among the Davos/Acela/SXSW crowd has eaten at a Noodles & Co., or shopped at a Sprouts Market?

So, yes, it’s a big story…for us. But it may not be for everybody else. Take a look at Yahoo!’s home page. The Twitter IPO doesn’t even crack the top 10 trending stories. You’d be surprised by how many people out there—people who don’t work in marketing, communications, public relations, social media, entertainment, digital media, political campaigns—don’t use Twitter.

Click here for the full story.

And further to the last post, some advice for those of us who didn’t get in at $26…

A big win today for Accel Partners and other investors in MoPub, writes Richard Waters.
Twitter closed its acquisition of the mobile ads company only last week. The all-stock deal, valued internally by Twitter in September at $270m, is now worth $625m. That’s nearly as much as Instagram’s backers were worth at the time of Facebook’s IPO – though in their case it was a let down from a notional $1bn when they agreed to sell.

Dick Costolo, Twitter’s chief executive who has been on a plane for much of the day, is returning to HQ to whip his employees back into line. They may have got in at 6am PT to watch the opening bell being rung but he won’t have them sloping off early now they have quarterly earnings targets to meet.

One of my favourite pieces on Twitter this week is by Om Malik, who was the first reporter to cover it back in 2006:

Twitter, at its very core, is many things to many people: that is its beauty and that is its challenge. Twitter the idea and the product is ever evolving, and so is the company, which was and still is a work in progress.

Twitter is unique because it was born in the crucible of failure and grew up in the glare of the spotlight. It took from its community, it learned from its community and sometimes it did shameful things. It failed in the public eye — after all its fail whale icon once was a badge for technical incompetence.

The co-creators of Twitter are just regular dudes who have demons much like our own. It is why we can relate to them.

The Twitter of today is facing an uncertain tomorrow. Uncertain, because a company that bows to Wall Street is bound to lose some of its folksy charm. You can see that already — many of the decisions being made by the company are being made to appease its investors… Twitter is about to enter that weird zone where need for growth trumps everything, including one’s values.

Twitter is a random series of events posing as a corporation.

Read the whole post here.

Our friends over at FastFT have posted this nice little chart of how Twitter’s first day pop compares to other IPOs this year:

Naysayers have already concluded that Twitter shareholders “left money on the table” with this initial public offering, but its impressive opening day “pop” is merely modest in comparison to other US IPOs this year.

Investors in companies like Sprouts Farmers Markets and Potbelly, the popular sandwich maker, fared far better with day one gains of more than 100 per cent.

It should, of course, be noted that Twitter’s $18bn IPO is larger than the other flotations in the list. Sprouts Farmers Market, for example, has a market value of $6.75bn.

Less than two hours before the market closes, Twitter is flirting with an 80 per cent rise for the day.

Twitter has been the venue for substantial activism in its seven-year history. Now Twitter itself is the subject of a protest here in San Francisco. Around 100 concerned citizens gathered outside its headquarters in a still-run-down but fast-gentrifying part of the central Market Street drag to complain about the tax breaks it was given to stay there and the crazy rent rises that the tech boom is driving. A two-bedroom apartment in a nearby new build is reportedly going for $5,000 a month.

The IRL protest may not have gathered many folks but the issue remains a hot one in San Francisco, where housing prices are squeezed up in its 7×7 square miles, surrounded by water on three sides.

A little Twitter investor/banker/founder love-in here

Twitter has gone to great pains to avoid the mistakes of Facebook’s IPO – and looks largely to have succeeded. But a couple of days ago, the WSJ produced a story that suggests analysts working for Twitter’s underwriters are forecasting rather slower revenue growth in the next couple of years than the rest of the market – drawing parallels with Facebook.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank… forecast 2015 revenue at Twitter to be about 28% below the average estimate of four unaffiliated analysts who have published forecasts, according to investors briefed on the figures.

But the analysts who are widely understood on Wall Street to have the best view of the company’s future prospects, thanks to their access to executives, haven’t published their views, in accordance with securities rules that limit what information underwriters and companies can divulge during and after stock offerings… That has left an information gap for many smaller investors.

The moves echo a big story around Facebook’s IPO, when it was accused of guiding certain analysts’ estimates lower, just before its stock tumbled on its debut.

At the close of NYSE trading, Twitter has ended up pretty much where it started trading this morning, at around $44.90. While that’s below the $50 it briefly touched earlier in the day, it’s still 73 per cent higher than the $26 price set yesterday by Twitter’s underwriters. Twitter’s market capitalisation stands at $24.5bn.

From the @NYSEcam, Here are @Jack and @DickC signing off on the IPO, before the opening bell

And we are signing off too. Thanks for all your tweets! We’re off to find more cronuts…