Weibo Corp., a Twitter-like microblogging service owned by Sina Corp., raised $286 million at its initial public offering (IPO) on April 17.
The IPO came in well below the $500 million that Weibo hoped to raise, after the company’s anticipated valuation of $7- 8 billion was cut to $3.4 billion. As a result, Weibo set its share price at $17, the lower end of the projected offering range. The day of its IPO, Weibo sold 3.2 million fewer shares than expected.
Weibo’s poor initial performance reflects investors’ concerns about the company’s falling user base and social media stocks in general. The number of microbloggers using Weibo has fallen from a peak of 308.6 million in 2012 to 280.2 million in 2013. In addition, the market for tech stocks has taken a beating, with investors less eager to buy up new offerings. Weibo has entered a “relatively” weak market, said senior ICBC research analyst You Na in an interview with Bloomberg. Weibo’s rival Twitter Inc., has seen its stock price drop 18 percent since the beginning of March.
While Weibo did not meet its target of $500 million, the stock price surged 19 percent later in the day to close at $21.24. This may be a positive sign for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., JD.com, Inc., and Jumei International Holding Ltd. as those Chinese tech companies gear up for their own US IPOs later this year.