After Twitter’s Sizzling IPO, Now Comes the Hard Part

Twitter's stock took to its wings in its public debut, closing up more than 70 percent. The day flew by with nary a hitch and gave birth to a new batch of Silicon Valley millionaires -- even a few billionaires.

Now comes the hard part. With Twitter's value skyrocketing in just a day, the 7-year-old company that's never turned a profit and has just a fraction of Facebook's user base must prove to investors that it's worth the money. Twitter stock ended Thursday's trading at $44.90, giving the company a market value of $31 billion. That's $13 billion more than on Wednesday night, when the company set its IPO price at $26.

"Ultimately what you want is a nice pop," said Roger Entner of Recon Analytics. "Everyone walks away with smiles from ear to ear."

Twitter, he added, "now just has to deliver on all this."

By the closing bell, the social network that reinvented global communication in 140-character bursts was worth nearly as much as Yahoo Inc., an Internet icon from another era, and only slightly less than Kraft Foods, the grocery conglomerate founded more than a century ago.

The stock's sizzling performance seemed to affirm the bright prospects for Internet companies, especially those focused on mobile users. And it could invite more entrepreneurs to consider IPOs, which lost their luster after Facebook's 2012 public debut was marred by technical glitches. In Silicon Valley, Twitter's IPO produced millionaires and billionaires, some of whom are sure to fund a new generation of startups.

Twitter worked hard to temper expectations ahead of the IPO. All that was swiftly forgotten with the stock's opening surge.

But the excitement may not last. The company isn't expected to turn a profit until 2015. That could be a long wait for investors, especially if Twitter's revenue growth slows. There are already signs...

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