Twitter’s stock opens at $45.10 a share on its first day of trading, 73 percent above its initial offering price.
The stock is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TWTR”. It is the most highly anticipated initial public stock offering since Facebook debuted last year.
The shares were not immediately selling at the opening of the New York Stock Exchange, but met trader anticipation then that the stock could jump from the $26 offering price to over $40.
Twitter priced its IPO on Wednesday, giving the popular messaging platform a market capitalisation of $14.4bn.
Its trading debut is the most highly anticipated since Facebook’s last year.
Twitter has set a price of $26 for its initial public offering of stock. The price values the company at more than $18bn based on its outstanding stock, options and restricted stock that will be available after the IPO.
It could raise $1.8bn in the offering, before expenses.
Twitter, which has never turned a profit in its seven years of existence, originally set a price range of $17 to $20 per share for the IPO, but that was designed to temper expectations. It was widely expected that the price range would go higher.
The company is offering 70 million shares in the IPO, plus an option to buy another 10.5 million.
While Twitter employees celebrated the public offering, a coalition of activist groups protested outside its San Francisco headquarters.
The organization San Francisco Rising faults Twitter for taking advantage of tens of millions of dollars in tax breaksthat could have been spent on social services and for the rise in evictions and housing prices since the tech giant moved in.
Twitter lets users send short messages, or “tweets”, in 140-character bursts and has attracted world leaders, religious icons and celebrities, along with CEOs.
It now has more than 230 million users, more than three-quarters of them outside the US.