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Twitter has finally filed public IPO papers, giving the world a look at its financials for the first time. The news sent shares of Tweeter, a home sound system company, up 1,500% at one point simply because its ticker, TWTRQ, can be confused with TWTR, the symbol Twitter will use when it actually does go public. Dan Primack’s sources tell him that will happen on November 8.
The reaction to Twitter’s financial disclosures was a bit more muted. Kara Swisher has a good rundown of the numbers: The company lost $79 million in 2012 on revenue of $317 million, and lost $69 million on $254 million in the first half of this year. Peter Eavis writes that Twitter’s IPO could value the company at $12 billion. Even at Twitter’s August valuation of $9.7 billion, investors valued the company at 22 times revenue, which he says is high for a tech company. Facebook is currently trading at 12 times the revenue analysts project it will earn next year, Eavis adds. Cyrus Sanati argues that Twitter is lagging its rivals in the online ad space, and is simply not ready for Wall Street.
Tom Gara writes that Twitter has another looming problem: it can be hard to weed out robots. Bot accounts, he says, “range from entirely robotic (and often incomprehensible) spammers to more cleverly programmed accounts spitting out tweets designed to find their way into the occasional search results or discussion thread.” CNET reports that Twitter went on something of a bot-killing spree in the months leading up to its IPO filing.
Twitter won’t say how many accounts of this kind it killed, but it may help explain why, in Mike Isaac’s words, Twitter has a growth problem. As AllThingsD reported last month, sources indicated that Twitter had averaged in the range of 230 million to 240 million monthly active users recently, making it unlikely that Twitter will hit CEO Dick Costolo’s goal of having 400 million monthly active users by the end of the year.