Twitter has inadvertently revealed the date of its hugely anticipated IPO, reports Kurt Wagner for Mashable. The company filed an S-1 document that specified their employees would be allowed to sell their shares on the market from February 15, 2014. Since employees are normally barred from selling share for three months after an IPO, that sets November 15 as the big day.
Companies normally leave that information out of the S-1 until they have announced the date and started pitching to big investors, so this is pretty clearly an accident.
Even though Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter’s most obvious competitor, had a disappointing IPO, most people expect Twitter’s to be a big success. The social media company is still in its growth phase, and it is more popular with young people than Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), so its user base is expected to continue growing over the next few years. It’s also naturally adapted to smart phones, while Facebook and most other social media sites have struggled with the transition from desktops, so the company is as secure as a tech firm can ever be (no one who watched BlackBerry implode can be very complacent about IT).
Twitter is in a good position to grow its revenues
But having a lot of users isn’t the same thing as having lots of income. Twitter is in a good position to grow its revenues, but right now the company isn’t profitable. That isn’t the end of the world; Amazon lost money for most of its existence but no one doubts that it is going to be around long-term. But when the main revenue stream is an unproven form of advertising, potential investors have a right to be nervous.
Twitter actually addressed this issue in its S-1 with the admission, “We have incurred significant operating losses in the past… and we may not be able to achieve or subsequently maintain profitability,” reports Chris Taylor from Mashable. In other words, the company may simply lose money until they can no longer find investors, and then close up shop. It’s not the kind of sales pitch that normally gets people excited, but right now the buzz is still positive and it looks like the IPO will be a hit.