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Twitter’s IPO: winners and losers

With Twitter’s  (NYSE: TWTR )  IPO rocketing in early trading, Wall Street is buzzing in 140 characters or less. While Twitter’s story is still unwritten, here are the winners and losers of the IPO.

Winner: New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, ended up providing nearly flawless execution. Although Twitter started trading a little later than anticipated, this was a clear departure from Nasdaq’s bungled rollout of Facebook  (NASDAQ: FB ) . Twitter was looking to disassociate from its social-media brethren’s horrible first day, and it appears to have done so. You can bet if any future company is planning an IPO, it will remember these two rollouts. It is possible NYSE will receive more IPO “wins” in the future.

Winner: Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs, the lead underwriter, also should be credited for this successful IPO process. The initial pricing of US$17 to US$20 per share was enough to create a buzz around the offering. Of course, the IPO price eventually rose to US$26 per share, but the initial pricing kept the company interesting. In addition, this gives Goldman a leg up for any future IPO deals.

Winner: IPO investors

Initial IPO investors bought the company at US$26 per share, the current price is currently nearly 75% higher–this is rather self-explanatory. Of course, this story is still in the early stages, but this is a phenomenal first-day return.

Loser: Post-IPO investors

Many people in the finance profession, myself included, think the IPO process is inherently biased against the small-time, retail investor. If you bought Twitter at US$45 a share, you are buying a US$31 billion company versus the US$18 billion company pre-IPO investors bought. Twitter will have to execute extremely well in terms of revenue and user growth to maintain that market capitalisation.

Loser: Twitter

Yes, the company will have to execute nearly flawlessly to keep investors happy. In addition to Facebook’s disastrous rollout, investors quickly pounced on Facebook’s weaknesses: its lacking mobile strategy. Facebook eventually calmed those fears and rocketed up from its sub-US$20 lows. However, at some point, investors will voice similar concerns about Twitter. The echoes have already started; slowing U.S. user growth, its current size, and its profitability prospects have dogged the stock pre-IPO. With the stock now twice as large as its IPO market capitalisation, look for the cacophony to grow louder.

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