“Make it so.”
That was, of course, Patrick Stewart’s famous line as Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Today, he made it so for Twitter, ringing the New York Stock Exchange bell (with a helping hand from Vivienne Harr) as the company’s stock started trading for the first time.
Twitter is now on a more-than-five-year mission to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life, and boldly go where it has never gone before.
The stock is not yet freely trading, however.
On the NYSE, there is a process that new stocks go through called price discovery, which could take up to 45 minutes. Currently, VentureBeat’s Eric Blattberg, who is on the floor of the NYSE, says there’s a spread of $43-$47 — “a huge pop from the original $26.”
The “DMM,” or designated market maker, is trying to find the price at which the stock will sell well and maximize Twitter’s return. Twitter chose Barclay’s Capital as the market maker for the initial public offering, which means that if there’s an unexpected downturn, Barclays will also act to stabilize the stock, buying up shares.
The current pricing is in line with what at least some Wall Street experts predicted yesterday — and what various gray markets showed. Topeka Capital analyst Victor Anthony had a price target of $54 a share as well.
Above: Twitter executives and investors at the NYSE as Twitter launches its IPO.
Image Credit: NYSE Cam
At $43 to $47 a share, Twitter’s opening-day valuation would be in the $25 billion range. That could be entirely possible, as there are reports that the stock is “30 times oversubscribed,” meaning that many, many more investors want to buy Twitter stock than there is Twitter stock to be sold.
And, since price goes up as demand increases … the stock price jumps.
We’ll see how it continues through the day, however. And, of course, once full trading begins.