NEW YORK - Twitter shares soared in early trading Thursday as investors scrambled to get a piece of what they hope will be the next blockbuster social media company after Facebook.
Twitter and its bankers, led by Goldman Sachs' Anthony Noto, priced its IPO at $26 a share late Wednesday. The offering raises more than $2 billion and values the business at $18.34 billion.
The shares opened at $45.10 on the New York Stock Exchange, under ticker TWTR. That values the company at more than $30 billion, which compares to Facebook's market capitalization of $120 billion and LinkedIn's $26 billion value.
"There is nothing structural about our business that prevents us from achieving the kinds of margins that are in our peer group," Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said at the NYSE during an interview with CNBC.
Twitter founders Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone were also present at the NYSE, however the company let Twitter users, including actor Patrick Stewart, ring the opening bell.
The Twitter IPO was heavily over-subscribed, which forced some investors to wait until the stock started trading Thursday to buy. That helped fuel big gains. A successful IPO is supposed to climb on its first day. So far this year, the average one-day pop for U.S. listed technology or Internet IPOs is 35%, according to Dealogic.
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