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Twitter, a social-media company that lost $137 million in the past 12 months, will be valued at $18 billion when its stock begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the company said late Wednesday it has priced its initial public offering at $26 a share.
Twitter’s IPO involves the sale of 70 million shares for $1.8 billion. Beginning Thursday, the stock will trade under the ticker symbol, “TWTR.”
Twitter began seven years ago as a way for users to blast short messages to one another, and it has grown to 232 million users who tweet 500 million times per day.
As Twitter has grown, celebrities have grown fond of the service and use it to deepen their connection to their fans. Ashton Kutcher boasted he was the first person to reach 1 million followers, and just this week Katy Perry surpassed Justin Bieber as the most popular person on Twitter, with 46,564,181 followers.
Twitter’s IPO is the most high-profile since Facebook raised $16 billion by going public at $38 a share last year. Facebook shares famously flopped in the weeks and months after they first started trading, though patient investors were eventually rewarded and shares closed Wednesday at $49.12.