Weibo IPO Rises Above Drooping Expectations

Ahead of its initial public offering (IPO), Weibo Corp. (NASDAQ: WB) both priced shares at the low end of its expected range of $17 to $19 apiece, and it reduced the number of shares offered to 16.8 million American depositary shares (ADSs) from 20 million.

Weibo opened even lower, at about $16.27 per share, when trading started around noon. But they quickly shot up to $19.46. That gave the company a market cap of about $3.5 billion. The market value of rival Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) is more than $2.5 billion.

This offering comes ahead of the highly anticipated IPO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which holds stake in Weibo. Alibaba is expected to raise about $15 billion in what could be the biggest Internet IPO since that of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) in 2012.

Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse acted as joint book runners for the Weibo IPO. The underwriting syndicate was given a 30-day overallotment option to purchase up to 2.52 million additional ADSs from Weibo.

As of March 2014, Weibo claimed to have 143.8 million monthly average users and 66.6 million daily average users. The company also said that more than 70% of its monthly average users in December 2013 accessed Weibo from mobile devices at least once during the month.

Weibo shares were trading at $19.05, or up more than 12%, after about 45 minutes of trading. Almost 14 million shares had traded hands.

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