Twitter Files IPO; Will Trade as TWTR

6:13 PM, Oct 3, 2013   |    comments
(Photo credit: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
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Alistair Barr, USA TODAY

SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter made its IPO filing public Thursday, revealing a social media company growing rapidly but spending heavily to keep that momentum going.

Twitter said in the filing that it plans to raise as much as $1 billion, although such early disclosures can change as the IPO progresses. The stock ticker will be TWTR and the banks leading the offering are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The public filing marks the next step in what is the most important technology IPO since Facebook's flawed market debut in 2012.

Twitter has become a powerful way to share information, used by corporate chieftains, presidents and kids alike. However, the company has only recently begun to try to make money from its service - and the public IPO filing gives an important insight into how this effort is going.

Twitter reported revenue of $254 million in the six months ended June 30. That's more than double the $122 million in revenue the company generated in the first half of 2012. The company also reported a net loss of $69 million in the first half of this year, which compares with a net loss of $48 million in the same period a year earlier.

"We were expecting revenue of about $310 million, but they are growing fast, which is what's important," said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

The net loss is a function of how much Twitter is choosing to spend to fuel future growth, Pachter added. And the filing suggests that the company is pushing hard in this area. Expenses reached $316 million in the first half of 2013, up from $169 million in the same period of 2012, as the company spent heavily on research and development and sales and marketing.

Twitter said in September that it had filed IPO documents with regulators confidentially under a new law that allows companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue to keep such details under wraps. However, companies are required to make the documents public about three weeks before the start of "road shows" in which they meet with potential investors in the IPO.

Twitter's public filing suggests that its road show will start in late October. Road shows typically last a week or two, so Twitter shares could debut in November.


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