Twitter sets IPO price at $26 per share

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Twitter sets IPO price at $26 per share

Higher than expected ahead of stock market debut.

Twitter today priced its initial public offering above its expected range to raise more than US$1.8 billion (A$1.9 billion), in a sign of strong investor demand for the most highly anticipated US public float since Facebook.

The microblogging network priced 70 million shares at US$26, above the expected range of US$23 to US$25, which had already been raised once before.

The IPO values Twitter at US$14.1 billion, with the potential to reach US$14.4 billion if underwriters exercise an over-allotment option, as they are widely expected to.

Some analysts said they expect shares of Twitter to experience a small pop during the first day of trading. Twelve-month price targets on the stock range from US$29 to US$54.

David Menlow, president of research firm IPO Financial, said it's unlikely Twitter will see shares soar initially but a smaller size pop is possible.

"I think you could see shares rise 10 percent but there are still a lot of naysayers out there who think the stock is overvalued," he said.

Twitter's public float comes amid the strongest market for US IPOs since 2007, as equity markets soared and uncertainty around the US debt ceiling has largely subsided for now.

Twitter hiked its target IPO price on Monday from an initial range of US$17 to US$20. All of the proceeds from the IPO will go directly to the company, with no insider selling taking place.

Investor enthusiasm for Twitter, which boasts 230 million users including heads of state and celebrities, is strong even though the microblogging network has never turned a profit.

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