Snap Inc., the parent of sexting app-turned-media giant Snapchat, minted plenty of new millionaires — and billionaires — as the company’s stock soared 44 percent on Thursday in its first day as a public company.
Trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SNAP, Snap Inc. opened at $24 a share — $7 above its IPO price — and continued building momentum throughout the day. By market close, the Los Angeles tech company with two twenty-something founders was valued at $28.7 billion, larger than established media giants like Dish Network and Viacom.
Here’s how Snap’s auspicious debut compares with other recently-public tech companies:
Mark Zuckerberg’s social network currently carries a market cap of more than $400 billion, but it had an inauspicious debut in May 2012, requiring the help of underwriters buying back shares to close a few cents above its IPO price of $38. Technical glitches also delayed the start of Facebook’s first trading day by 30 minutes.
Facebook’s stock dipped during nine of the 13 trading days following its IPO and had a very slow summer, bottoming out at $17.55 on Sept. 4, 2012. However, investors who stayed patient were rewarded in spades, as Facebook closed on Thursday at $136.76 a share.
Facebook’s erstwhile rival Twitter has had almost the exact opposite experience since becoming a public company. The 140-character messaging service that has become the de facto White House press office had a huge pop on its first trading day, closing at $44.90 a share on Nov. 7, 2013 — a nearly 73 percent jump over its $26 a share offering price.
But with plenty of executive turmoil, slow growth and a core product that has barely evolved in nearly a decade, Wall Street quickly fell out of love with the San Francisco company. While investors went crazy for Snap shares Thursday, Twitter closed at $15.79 a share — far below its offering price.
Snap was the biggest tech IPO since China’s Alibaba, which itself was the biggest one of all-time. Jack Ma’s e-commerce and media conglomerate closed its first day of trading, Sept. 19, 2014, at $93.89 a share, a 38 percent jump from its $68 offering price. Since then, the stock has been on a relative rollercoaster, breaking $115 a share and dipping below $60, but has taken advantage of the early 2017 bull market. Alibaba closed the day at $103.19 a share.