NEW YORK – Twitter Inc. didn’t need more than 140 characters to tell the world it was going public. With Thursday’s regulatory filing to raise up to $1 billion by selling stock, it became an open book.
The company is also disclosing that it generated $317 million in revenue in 2012 and that it had more than 218 million active users as of the end of June, up 44 percent from a year earlier. That compares with Facebook’s nearly 1.2 billion and LinkedIn’s 240 million.
The company disclosed last month that it had filed confidential IPO papers to start the process of going public. On Thursday, San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. unsealed the papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Twitter booked a larger loss in the first half of this year than a year earlier, but it grew revenue. The company lost $69.3 million in the first six months of 2013, compared with $49.1 million at the same time last year. Revenue more than doubled to $254 million from $122 million.
Twitter’s IPO has been long expected. The company has been ramping up its advertising products and working to boost ad revenue in preparation. But it is still tiny compared with Facebook, which saw its hotly anticipated IPO implode last year amid worries about its ability to grow mobile ad revenue.
Twitter’s moneymaking potential has minted the company with an estimated market value of $10 billion, based on the appraisals of venture capitalists and other early investors. The IPO could value it higher or lower. PrivCo analyst Sam Hamadeh says he expects Twitter to aim for a market value of about $15 billion when it prices its IPO.
“It’s a hot area,” said Francis Gaskins, president of IPOdesktop.com, who added that Twitter’s broad appeal will make the share sale one of the most watched in recent history. “People understand this and they use it.”
Twitter did not say which stock exchange it plans to list its shares on, though the company said it intends to use the ticker symbol “TWTR.” The underwriters of the offering are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities and CODE Advisors.