Twitter valued at $31 billion after first day on stock market

Popular microblogging platform Twitter ended its first day on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday energized by optimistic investors looking to get in on a piece of the action.

Twitter’s 70 million shares were priced at $26 late Wednesday, but opened at $45.10.

The stock closed the market nearly 18 points up from its at $44.90 per share — a 72.9 percent gain, giving the company a $31 billion valuation after its first day as a publicly traded company.

USA Today notes, however, that Twitter’s successful debut on the stock market pales in comparison to the record-setting initial public offering of VA Linux Systems, now called Geeknet, Inc., on Dec. 9, 1999.

Sun Sentinel reported that VA Linux Systems’ stock jumped 897 percent from its $30 per share opening price to $299 in early trading. It closed the day at $239.25 — a 697 percent increase.

The most relevant comparisons, however, were to Facebook’s May 2012 IPO on the NASDAQ. A programming glitch turned Facebook’s IPO into a debacle for the company and its eager investors, delaying trading of the stock and confusing traders.

Facebook closed its first day at $38.23 per share, $0.23 above the company’s IPO price.

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