Twitter (TWTR) Sets IPO Stock Price at $26 Per Share

Twitter set the price for the initial public offering (IPO) of 70 million common shares of its common stock at $26 each. The popular micro blogging company announced the pricing of its stock via tweet late Wednesday.

Twitter initially priced its stock in the range of $17 to $20 per share. The company ended up adding one dollar to the higher range of the offering price it set at $23 to $25 per share earlier this week.

With the $26 per share offering price, Twitter’s valuation will be around $14.2 billion. The company aims to raise $1.8 billion from the public offering.

The book runners for the offering including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Deutsche Bank Securities will start offering the stock using the $26 offering price on Wednesday night to institutional investors.  Other investors will be able to purchase Twitter’s stock during its scheduled IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Thursday. Twitter is trading under the ticker “TWTR.”

Twitter’s public offering is highly anticipated this year. Many investors are bullish about the future of the company, and the stock will likely increase in value during its first day of trading. Most of the social media companies recorded outstanding gains this year. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) rose 85%, Linkedln (NYSE:LNKD) climbed 92%, and Yelp surged 253%.

The largest individual shareholder of Twitter is no other than its co-founder Evan Williams with 12% stake. The value of his stockholding is approximately $1.5 billion. The shares owned by his fellow co-founders Jack Dorsey and CEO Dick Costelo are worth around  $610 million and $200 million, respectively.

Private equity firm Rizvi Traverse acquired almost 18% stake with a market value of approximately $2.2 billion. The stockholding of other institutional investors in Twitter is 5% or more.

Twitter hired Barclays Capital as its “designated market marker” or DMM. The role of the firm is very critical because it is responsible in supervising the trading of the stock at the NYSE. DMMs are experienced traders capable of bypassing electronic trading systems to allow humans to trade the stock in the event of technical problems.