Twitter shares priced at $26 each

Twitter shares have been priced at $26 each, ahead of its debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Thursday.

That is above the $23 to $25 range announced on Monday and values the short messaging service at more than $18bn (£11bn).

That makes it the biggest market debut for a technology firm since Facebook went public in May 2012.

Twitter has attracted 230 million users since starting seven years ago, but is yet to make a profit.

Its losses for the third quarter of 2013 increased to $64.6m, from $21.6m a year earlier and a recent poll by Reuters/Ipsos showed that more than a third of registered users do not use the service at all.

‘Sweet spots’

Just as Google, Amazon and Facebook have become Internet utilities, so too may Twitter”

Mark Mahaney RBC Capital Markets

Nevertheless there was strong demand for the shares and the company was able to raise the offering price twice.

Some analysts said that investors were excited by Twitter’s potential for growth.

Rich men

Twitter’s $18bn valuation includes the value of shares in compensation schemes for employees and other share awards.

Co-founder Evan Williams is the biggest shareholder in the firm with a stake of more than 10% worth more than a billion dollars.

Another of the founders, Jack Dorsey, will also become a very rich man. His 4% stake is worth more than half a billion dollars.

Biz Stone, another co-founder, is thought to have made millions by selling holdings over the last few years.

But Noah Glass, also one of the originals, is believed to have made very little from the company’s success.

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