Facing strong momentum on the eve of Twitter's public debut, underwriters involved with the deal are aiming to price the social network at $27 per share, barring any last-minute hitches, according to three people familiar with the matter.
That figure would price the Internet behemoth at a level $2 above its stated price range of $23 to $25—a spectrum that has already been upped once on high investor demand. Twenty seven dollars per share would allow Twitter to raise more than $2 billion in its initial public offering on Thursday, assuming the exercise of an overallotment option, and would value the entire company at $19 billion.
IPO prices are always tentative until the investor order book closes—which it did earlier in the week—and the market closes for the day, say underwriters, so an afternoon glitch in market trading could always change Twitter and its bankers' thinking.
But as of midday Wednesday, the stock market was generally strong, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average having hit an all-time high in the morning.
A final decision will be made in a conference call after the close of Wednesday's trading, during which Twitter management and underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs, will set the concrete price.
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The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell primarily on weak earnings from Tesla, but is up 30 percent year-to-date. Perhaps most important for an IPO, the CBOE Volatility Index is at 13, 50 percent lower than where it was during Facebook's infamously botched initial public offering.
Market conditions on the whole are vastly different than they were then.
Facebook priced its stock at $38, the high end of an already-raised range, on a day when the Nasdaq was down triple-digits.
By the end of that week, the Nasdaq—where Facebook traded, and where it would eventually be added to its index— was down 5.3 percent, its worst week in nine months. The Dow had a weekly loss of 3.5 percent, and the S&P lost 4.3 percent.
The VIX, which is underwriters' key indicator for the smoothness of an IPO market, rose 26 percent to 25, on fresh concerns over Europe's sovereign debt crisis.