The most anticipated Silicon Valley initial public offering since Facebook is in the pipeline: San Francisco-based Twitter announced Thursday it has privately filed for its first public sale of shares.
In a message sent on the corporate account of its own microblogging service, Twitter said, “We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.”
Twitter’s IPO has been long expected. The company has been ramping up its advertising products and working to boost ad revenue.
Most of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising. Research firm eMarketer estimates Twitter will make $582.8 million in worldwide ad revenue this year, up from $288.3 million in 2012.
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By comparison, Facebook had ad revenue of $1.6 billion in the April-June quarter. By 2015, Twitter’s annual ad revenue is expected to hit $1.33 billion.
Unlike with typical IPOs, however, potential investors and the public will not yet get a look at the company’s finances.
The company filed its preliminary prospectus with securities regulators using a provision of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS Act, that allows the company to keep its initial filings confidential if it has less than $1 billion in annual revenue.
Goldman Sachs is leading the underwriting, according to a person briefed on the matter.
Twitter was founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, and has grown to more than 200 million users who share their thoughts in bursts of no more than 140 characters at least once a month, with estimates of total users surpassing 500 million.
Twitter’s massive growth has produced strong IPO buzz for years, but neighbor Facebook’s rough Wall Street debut quieted much of the excitement.
The Menlo Park, Calif., company exercised a record-breaking IPO in May 2012 that valued CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s creation at more than $100 billion. But problems with initial trades and doubts about Facebook’s ability to generate revenues helped push shares from an initial price of $38 to less than $20 in the first year of public availability.
Facebook stock has rebounded, however, pushing to an all-time high of more than $45 Wednesday after the company’s most recent earnings report showed strong gains in mobile revenues.
The IPO market has also fully rebounded after a lull following Facebook’s debut, with seven Bay Area companies filing to go public in August.
“There’s more of an appetite for IPOs than there’s been in some time,” Thomas Kellerman, an attorney with Morgan Lewis in Palo Alto, Calif., who co-chairs the firm’s tech practice, told the San Jose Mercury News last month.
Material from The Associated Press and The New York Times is included in this report.