Twitter’s strong public stock debut counters skepticism

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, left, and Mike Gupta, center, chief financial officer of Twitter, talk with specialist Glenn Carell during Twitter's IPO, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, left, and Mike Gupta, center, chief financial officer of Twitter, talk with specialist Glenn Carell during Twitter’s IPO, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) – Twitter had a strong public stock debut Thursday in the most highly anticipated initial public offering since Facebook’s last year.

The stock closed at $44.90 on its first day, giving Twitter a value of more than $31 billion based on its outstanding stock, options and restricted stock that’ll be available after the IPO. It opened at $45.10 and traded as high as $50.09 in the morning. Although the closing price fell 20 cents short of the opening price, it’s still 73 percent above the $26 IPO price.

The high price comes despite the fact that Twitter has never turned a profit in seven years of existence. Revenue has been growing, but the company is also investing heavily in more data centers and hiring more employees.

Twitter is trading under the ticker symbol “TWTR.”