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Snap’s IPO opened trading at $24 a share, making the company worth $33 billion — for now

Snap goes the market.

You can now own a piece of Snap.

The maker of Snapchat started trading openly on the NYSE under ticker symbol SNAP at $24 a share, making the company worth $33 billion, but that’s going to change throughout the day.

This is the biggest tech issue since Alibaba’s IPO two years ago. Facebook debuted in 2012 and peaked at around $100 billion market value that day.

Remember, IPO pricing is a weird process that’s more alchemy than science. The underwriters want to make sure Snap gets as much money as it can while also allowing the bankers and institutional traders to make some profit.

Snap sold at $17 a share in its IPO, so every dollar above that is profit for bankers and lost money for Snap. Right now that’s a 41 percent pop.

Some other figures to note:

  • At $33 billion, investors are saying Snap is worth 35 times what it’s estimated to generate in sales this year, or about $936 million, according to eMarketer. Compare that with Facebook, which is currently worth about 10.5 times its estimated 2017 revenue. In other words, investors, for the moment, think Snap has three times more potential value than Facebook. That’s a big bet.
  • Snap lost $514 million last year on $404 million in revenue. Compare that with Twitter, which lost $79 million the year before its IPO, while Facebook made $1 billion in profit.
  • Snap has 158 million daily active users. Facebook at its IPO had 845 million monthly active users and 483 million daily active users.
  • Snap has 1,859 employees. Twitter had 2,000. Facebook, 3,200.

This story is ongoing...

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