Twitter IPO: Why Robert Peck Is The Smartest Guy On Wall Street For A Day

on November 07 2013 11:43 AM
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    Twitter executives Dick Costolo (R), Evan Williams (2nd R), Biz Stone (C) and Jack Dorsey (2nd L) celebrate as Twitter IPO begins on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, November 7, 2013. Reuters
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I don't know Robert Peck personally, but if ever a guy is entitled to say, "I told you so," he's the man.

About a month ago, Peck was being mocked and chided for putting a $50 price target on Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), even before the social media company had unveiled its initial IPO pricing estimate around $20 a share. 

"Outrageous!" came the response from one corner of the financial media. "What a showman looking for press," cried yet others.

Well, for those not following the most anticipated IPO of the year, the estimable Mr. Peck was as close to perfect as any of us are likely to be today or anytime soon.

Twitter shares opened Thursday at about 10:45 a.m. EST on the New York Stock Exchange at $45.10, well above the eventual IPO pricing of $26 a share.

But it gets better.

In a very short time the shares moved to their high (so far) for the day of, wait for it, $50.09.

Which raises two questions, the first of which is, how the heck did Peck reach his estimate?

According the New York Times of Oct. 7, 2013, "How did Mr. Peck arrive at $50 a share? He pointed to Twitter’s own internal stock valuation and calculated what sort of premium those shares would fetch were they traded publicly, arriving at about $26. He then noted speculation that the company will seek to price its I.P.O. at about $28 to $30 a share, what he deemed a reasonable range." Quoting Peck directly, the paper wrote, "“I think $50 provides a reasonable target.” 

The second question is, "why did Twitter and its bankers get the target so wrong?"
 
Well, that's a question the company and its bankers may not answer for a while, given they'll have a lot of money to count tallying up the premium investors unlucky enough not to be on the inside of the deal shovel their way today.
 

There's a long day of trading left ahead and no one, not even Bob Peck, can tell us where the shares will end it, but his target's been hit and the naysayers owe him a hat tip at the very least.

So, Bob, on behalf of those of us who follow this stuff, taking note of predictions like yours and filing them away to follow up later, cheers to you for a prognostication well uttered. 

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