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Weibo disappoints with low IPO debut, but shares climb after cold start

Steven Millward
Steven Millward
12:36 am on Apr 18, 2014

Weibo vs Twitter valuation

After a downsized and undersubscribed share offering, Sina Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) planned to hit Wall Street at the lower end of its price range, starting at $17 per share. But when the Weibo IPO finally took off two and a half hours after trading began on Wall Street, Weibo’s shares debuted at a mere $16.27. The share price soon climbed up gradually, and now stands at $18.94 at the time of publishing. (Update: Weibo closed its first day of trading at a healthy $20.24.)

Weibo – a spin-off from Chinese web giant Sina (NASDAQ:SINA) – sold only 16.8 million of its 20 million shares earlier today, leading to a relatively muted and conservative public debut in New York in which the Chinese social network raised $286 million – not the $400+ million that many expected.

Weibo has 143.8 million monthly active users (March 2014), versus 241 million MAUs on Twitter (Q4 2013). Their relative valuation is very far apart, however. Weibo’s IPO debut today means that it’s valued at about $3.4 billion – but that’s in contrast to Twitter’s (NYSE:TWTR) current cap of $26.8 billion in early Thursday trading.

(See: As Weibo launches IPO, here are all the facts and stats you need to know)

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