News / Economy

Twitter's 'Anti-Facebook' IPO Tactics Win Over Some Investors

FILE - Twitter CEO Dick Costolo gestures during a conference at the Cannes Lions in Cannes, France, June 20, 2012.FILE - Twitter CEO Dick Costolo gestures during a conference at the Cannes Lions in Cannes, France, June 20, 2012.
x
FILE - Twitter CEO Dick Costolo gestures during a conference at the Cannes Lions in Cannes, France, June 20, 2012.
FILE - Twitter CEO Dick Costolo gestures during a conference at the Cannes Lions in Cannes, France, June 20, 2012.
Reuters
Institutional investors who met with Twitter Inc this week say they are optimistic about its initial public offering and see little sign of the irrational exuberance that preceded Facebook Inc's splashy coming-out party in 2012.
 
On Monday and Tuesday, Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo and Chief Financial Officer Mike Gupta met with large fund managers and analysts in New York and on the East Coast to sell them on an IPO that seeks to raise up to $1.6 billion for the loss-making social media company.
 
Closely watched by Wall Street and Silicon Valley, Twitter's relatively conservative offering has differed from Facebook's $16 billion IPO in a panoply of ways, from its vastly smaller deal size to a decision to list on the New York Stock Exchange over Nasdaq.
 
“It definitely was different than when (Facebook CEO Mark) Zuckerberg came through ... It's the right kind of buzz,” said one fund manager who met with Twitter on Monday.
 
“With Facebook, the buzz was just stupid,” said the manager, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
 
Twitter last week said that it would price its IPO shares at $17 to $20 a piece, valuing the online messaging company at up to about $11 billion. That is less than the $15 billion that analysts had expected, and far below the $100 billion valuation that Facebook received in its IPO last May.
 
However, Facebook had reported an annual profit of $1 billion and revenue of $3.7 billion before it went public, whereas Twitter reported a net loss of $79.4 million on revenue of just $316.9 million in 2012.
 
At the upper end of its IPO price range, Twitter would be valuing itself at 20 times trailing 12-month sales currently, and about 17  times at the lower end, according to Reuters' calculations from Twitter's IPO filings. But its outstanding share base could swell by tens of millions of stock as holders exercise options and restricted stock units, inflating the valuation.
 
In comparison, Facebook trades at about 24 times trailing 12-month sales and LinkedIn Corp at roughly 30 times.
 
And yet....
 
Fund managers viewed Twitter's price range as relatively conservative, basing their perspective on earlier guesses that had pegged the company's range as $28 to $30. Twitter itself mentioned that it had internally valued its own stock at $20.62 as recently as in September.
 
That has attracted some investors who expect Twitter's shares to climb after they begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 7.
 
Twitter “is getting a really warm welcome from people,” said Scott Sweet, CEO of research firm IPO Boutique.
 
“Of all the individuals and institutions I've talked to - which include multi-billion dollar hedge funds - no one has said they aren't playing,” Sweet said.
 
Facebook's float was marred by an 11 percent drop in the stock on its second day of trade and successive declines over the next few months as investors questioned the company's ability to grow revenue through mobile devices.
 
It didn't help that, before its debut, Facebook's underwriters raised the size of the IPO by 25 percent and also hiked the price range. Finally, technical problems with Nasdaq trading systems delayed the start of trade, sowing confusion amongst nervous traders.
 
It took over a year for Facebook shares to reclaim their IPO price.
 
Another investor, who owns shares in Facebook and LinkedIn said his firm is approaching all the Twitter underwriters to ask for a 10 percent allocation, with the hopes of getting between 1.5 to 3 percent.
 
“It's a stupid game that is played ... if you can get what you want, then you don't want it,” he said.
 
Some investors say they believe management has learned from Facebook's mistakes and are pricing the deal in a more conservative manner.
 
“It's the anti-Facebook” said a second fund manager, who also spoke on condition of anonymity and is planning on meeting with management later this week.
 
Twitter will hold its first large investor lunch in New York on Wednesday, and investor interest is expected to build as the roadshow proceeds. After stops in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver, the roadshow ends in New York next week with pricing scheduled for Nov. 6 and trading on the New York Stock Exchange to commence a day later under the ticker symbol “TWTR.”
 
The company founders “are gazillionaires already. I think they're not going to want to spend the year after the IPO dominated by the argument about 'why we the IPO,”' the second fund manager said. “Life is short.”

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8896
JPY
USD
119.26
GBP
USD
0.6475
CAD
USD
1.2451
INR
USD
61.816

Rates may not be current.