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IPO values Twitter at $31 billion

Staff writer |
Twitter shares skyrocketed Thursday as investors rushed to get a piece of the company everyone hope will be the next hot social-media company on the stock exchange after Facebook.

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Twitter and its bankers, led by Goldman Sachs' Anthony Noto, priced its IPO at $26 a share. The shares opened at $45.10 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), under symbol TWTR. The stock jumped as high as $50.09 before closing at $44.90, up 73%.

That values the company at more than $31 billion, which compares with Facebook's market capitalization of $120 billion and LinkedIn's $26 billion.

Twitter was the most actively traded stock in the U.S. on Thursday with more than 117.3 million shares had exchanged hands by the end of the day.

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams is the company's largest individual shareholder with a 12% stake worth $2.6 billion at the opening price of $45.10. Peter Fenton, a Twitter board director and an early investor in the company, owns a stake worth $1.4 billion.

Co-founder, Jack Dorsey, holds shares worth nearly $1.1 billion, and company CEO Dick Costolo has a nearly $346 million stake.

Six institutional investors own 5% or more of Twitter. The biggest winner is private equity firm Rizvi Traverse, which holds a nearly 18% stake that is now worth $3.8 billion.

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