Maybe Facebook Priced its IPO Better Than Twitter

Tickers in this article: FB TWTR

NEW YORK  (TheStreet) -- If Facebook's May 2012 initial public offering was a moment of mass pandemonium not seen since a stock market "flash crash" a few years ago, Twitter's share listing was a non-event, other than the firm's near 73% rise from its $26 a share offering price.

By the end of Twitter's first day of trading two co-founders of the company had become paper billionaires in the firm's shares. Overall, Twitter posted the largest one-day jump for an IPO over $1 billion since 2007, according to Bloomberg .

Twitter's IPO was a stark contrast to Facebook's listing.

Twitter sold just $1.82 billion in stock, compared to Facebook's $16 billion share offering, which shattered records for an Internet firm. But in Twitter's IPO there were none of the technical glitches that made it unclear who owned Facebook's stock for hours on end. 

Now, of course, after Twitter's Thursday share offering comes the Friday morning quarterbacking .

Did Twitter leave money on the table? Did retail investors get a shot at investing in Twitter? Is the company wildly overvalued?

Those questions contrast to Facebook's listing. Did Facebook over-price its offering? Did retail investors get flooded or left holding the bag of a broken stock?

Friday morning quarterbacks might be inclined to point a finger at Twitter.

The company raised $1.76 billion in capital through its share listing. Investors who were allocated Twitter shares after its IPO pricing late on Wednesday were in the money by roughly $1.3 billion by the time the company's stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Reports from CNBC's David Faber indicate that Twitter's offering was oversubscribed by a multiple of 30. In contrast, interviews show that Facebook's underwriters were putting out calls to small institutional accounts and left large allocations for retail investors in order to fill the mammoth stock offering. Ordinary investors basically had the ability to buy as many Facebook shares as they wanted.

After falling sharply in the wake of its IPO, Facebook shares have since recovered and are slightly outperforming the S&P 500 Index in their time on public stock markets. So despite the rough ride, one could say Facebook raised the maximum amount of capital it could. The company reported about $10 billion in its bank account as of Sept. 30. Retail investors got their shares, and those who held on for the long term have made money.

No harm, no foul on Facebook's botched IPO?

Most market participants continue see the IPO as a confluence of over-optimism by Facebook's management, an aggressive pricing by underwriter Morgan Stanley and serious technical flaws by Nasdaq , the exchange where Facebook shares are listed.

Now, apparently, the finger pointing has turned to Twitter.