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Twitter IPO raises $1.8B as demand pushes up initial price

Twitter's new stock is expected to begin trading

Twitter's new stock is expected to begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TWTR. Credit: AP file, 2013

Twitter Inc. raised $1.82 billion in its initial public offering Wednesday in the largest IPO by a technology company since Facebook Inc.'s in May 2012.

Twitter's new stock is expected to begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TWTR.

The sale of part of the company's shares in the offering values the entire business at $14.2 billion. The short-messaging website sold 70 million shares at $26 each, after offering them for $23 to $25, the San Francisco-based company said in a tweet. Strong demand for the shares led to the higher price.

The offering is a step toward maturation for the 6- year-old social network, which has shuffled through different leaders, built an advertising business and attracted an audience of more than 230 million users around the world. Chief executive Dick Costolo has rallied investor interest in Twitter's rapid growth -- with revenue more than doubling annually -- even with no clear path to making a profit.

Twitter's loss widened to $64.6 million in the September quarter from $21.6 million a year earlier, and it is unlikely to be profitable until 2015, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Demand for the shares exceeded the supply even before bankers started formally asking for orders, people familiar with the matter have said. On Monday, Twitter raised the proposed price range for shares in the IPO to $23 to $25 each, up from the earlier range of $17 to $20.

Most of the insiders who already owned Twitter stock aren't selling it in the IPO.

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