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TWITTER IPO LIVE: Strong market debut for Twitter

Thursday - 11/7/2013, 5:54pm  ET

A man walks his dogs past the New York Stock Exchange prior to the Twitter IPO, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 in New York. Twitter set a price of $26 per share for its initial public offering on Wednesday evening and will begin trading Thursday under the ticker symbol "TWTR" in the most highly anticipated IPO since Facebook's 2012 debut. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Twitter had a strong public stock debut Thursday in the most highly anticipated initial public offering since Facebook's last year.

The stock closed at $44.90 on its first day of trading, giving Twitter a value of more than $31 billion based on its outstanding stock, options and restricted stock that'll be available after the IPO. That's 73 percent above its $26 IPO price.

The high price comes despite the fact that Twitter has never turned a profit in seven years of existence. Revenue has been growing, but the company is also investing heavily in more data centers and hiring more employees.

Here's a running account of Twitter's first day of trading, presented in reverse chronological order. All times are EST.

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-- 5 p.m.: Big payday for @Twitter co-founders @Jack, @ev and CEO @dickc

Evan Williams' stake in the company is worth $2.6 billion.

Jack Dorsey, currently its chairman, has a stake worth $1.05 billion.

Dick Costolo, who became CEO in 2010 and groomed the company for its stock debut, owns a stake worth $345 million.

-- Michael Liedtke, San Francisco, @liedtkesfc

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-- 4:55 p.m.: Sure, @Twitter had strong #IPO, but what exactly is it? AP's Scott Mayerowitz @GlobeTrotScott explains: http://bit.ly/HIKnsc

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-- 4 p.m.: First day of trading is done.

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-- 3:35 p.m.: Twitter has no shortage of co-founders. AP's @liedtkesfc tries to track down the one who wasn't @NYSE for opening

Here's his account:

While Twitter founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams and Biz Stone were in New York celebrating the company's stock debut Thursday, a former partner involved in Twitter's creation was in the midst of a home improvement project on the other side of the country.

At least that's how it looked when I swung by the home of Noah Glass, @noah, in San Francisco's Mission District neighborhood.

Glass, 43, says he and Dorsey conceived Twitter during a brainstorming session after a night of drinking in San Francisco nearly eight years ago. Dorsey has a different account, maintaining he came up with the idea himself on a San Francisco playground. Tweets and blog posts from 2006 make it clear Glass was deeply involved. He even came up with the service's name, originally shortening it to "twittr."

For reasons that aren't entirely clear, Glass was ousted from Twitter before it turned into a cultural phenomenon and didn't even get much company stock, according to a new book about Twitter's history.

I was curious to see how Glass was handling this momentous day for Twitter. So I hopped on a train near Twitter's San Francisco headquarters and rode the subway to the next stop. Glass lives with his 7-month-old daughter and the baby's French-speaking mother at the end of a dirt lot in a small home that was set up after a 1906 earthquake destroyed much of the city. These homes are still known as "earthquake shacks."

The front gate was open, as was the front door. As I walked up to the threshold, I could hear the pounding of a hammer in the back and a baby blissfully playing in a stroller. The French-accented woman nearby cheerfully greeted me, but when I told her that I was a reporter wondering if Noah wanted to talk to me about Twitter, she informed me that he wasn't interested. She was very nice about it, and we wished me a very nice day.

It seemed like a happy home, even if it isn't as grandiose as the mansions that many Twitter employees can now afford to buy. #ForgottenFounder

More on the founders: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/flock-feathered-twitters-nest

-- Michael Liedtke, San Francisco, @liedtkesfc

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-- 3:05 p.m.: AP's @liedtkesfc explores the neighborhood outside @Twitter HQ and sees contrasts.

The San Francisco neighborhood outside Twitter's headquarters provides a forlorn contrast to the suddenly rich people working inside the building.

These are among the meaner streets in downtown San Francisco, long populated with the destitute who have no place to live and the miscreants who resort to crime to make ends meet. In hopes of cleaning the area up, the city of San Francisco gave Twitter local tax breaks on employee stock options to help persuade the company to move into the neighborhood two years ago.

But times are still tough here. Scruffy-looking people gathered against the wall of a post office across the street from Twitter's headquarters. Four of them had just spent the night in a homeless shelter. All of them said that they wished that they owned Twitter stock, yet they maintained that they didn't really envy Twitter employees becoming wealthier as the stock soared Thursday.

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