Snap IPO prices at $17 a share, above expected range

Snap priced its public offering at $17 a share on Wednesday, two sources told CNBC, and the company later confirmed in a press release. The company is scheduled to start trading Thursday.

At 200 million shares, Snap will have raised $3.4 billion and will be valued at nearly $24 billion. The IPO is 10 times oversubscribed, the sources said.

Sources had told CNBC earlier this week that investors were expectinga pricing of $17 to $18 per share, above the $14 to $16 per share range originally given by the company.

Evan Spiegel, co-founder and chief executive officer of Snapchat.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Evan Spiegel, co-founder and chief executive officer of Snapchat.

The pricing reflects what Wall Street’s top investment firms think about the stock, and telegraphs how the year’s most anticipated IPO might fare in the public market on Thursday.

The company behind Snapchat — an ephemeral photo messaging app that’s viral among teens — has presented investors with some unique challenges. It’s unclear how exactly the California company plans to make a profit, especially with daily active user growth slowing. Shareholders will also get negligible voting rights with the stock.

But Snap, which will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under “SNAP,” is also one of the few new growth opportunities to hit the public market. While stock markets keep notching record highs, there have been a dearth of public offerings. Proceeds from the U.S. IPO market were only $18.8 billion last year, according to Renaissance Capital, down from $86.6 billion in 2014.

Still, many companies price high and sell low, and vice versa. Facebook, for instance, saw shares seesaw on its first trading day, ending less than 1 percent higher. Since then, of course, Facebook found its footing, and has risen about 250 percent.

— Reporting by CNBC’s Leslie Picker. Written by Anita Balakrishnan.

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