The New York Stock Exchange played host to Twitter's high-profile initial public offering this morning as the company went public and shares began trading on the market. Twitter's soaring bird logo was emblazoned across both the outside and the inside of the exchange, and in such context the logo fittingly illustrated the company's hopes for its publicly traded stock.
Many were on the floor of the exchange well before the 9:30AM opening bell, and anticipation rose as the market prepared to open. Twitter executives on hand — including CEO Dick Costolo, CFO Mike Gupta, and co-founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone — surprisingly didn't partake in the ceremonies, instead opting to make their appearance right on the exchange floor. A group of Twitter users took the podium instead, led by Sir Patrick Stewart.
After the opening bell, the floor continued to swell with bankers, traders, press, and guests, but the room soon fell silent as officials worked to pair buyers and traders and set an opening price for TWTR. A nervous energy enveloped the crowd as the minutes passed, and when a trader yelled out that the IPO was "very close" the room buzzed with excitement. The process took over an hour, and Twitter began trading on the market shortly before 11AM ET, the longest since 2007, according to an NYSE executive. A cheer ripped through the crowd as the stock opened at $45.10, 73 percent higher than the stock's IPO price.
- Twitter didn't just dominate the outside of the building — both of Barclays' posts on the floor were dedicated to the company. As is now typical for the stock exchange in the internet era, there were few traders on the floor other than those involved with Twitter's IPO.
- Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, who was hired in 2010 to bring the company to profitability, was joined by CFO Mike Gupta, as well as co-founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone on the exchange floor.
- The New York Stock Exchange's famous opening bell ceremony oddly featured Sir Patrick Stewart himself, who just recently joined Twitter as @sirpatstew.
- Twitter's Dick Costolo, Biz Stone, Mike Gupta, Evan Williams, and Jack Dorsey posed for the camera shortly before the stock went live. Image courtesy @NYSECam.
- Activity didn't pick up until well after the opening bell, as traders, press, and others in attendance waited for an opening price to be set.
- The process of pairing buyers and sellers was performed primarily at this terminal, and hundreds — including CEO Dick Costolo — swarmed around it waiting for the news. The process continued for over an hour until TWTR began trading publicly shortly before 11AM ET.
- The rest of the trading floor — pictured here shortly after TWTR began trading on the market — was tranquil, as all attention was focused on Twitter's opening price and its executives.
- The stock's opening price of $45.10 was 74 percent up from the minimum price of $26 Twitter set the night before. Ultimately, the company raised around $1.8 billion.