Alibaba prepares for imminent IPO at $68 per share

Some analyst expectations simply won't be met just given how high expectations have risen for what is being flaunted as the greatest tech IPO in history.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor on

The fervor and suspense surrounding Alibaba's IPO roadshow has reached such a fever pitch that CNBC even quipped "it's like Alibaba cures cancer or something."

An inevitable result is that some expectations simply won't be met given how high expectations have risen for what is being flaunted as the greatest tech (or just general) initial public offering in history.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean Alibaba's move to Wall Street will be any less impressive -- especially given the tech giant's starting stock price.

The latest figure stands at $68 per share when Alibaba shares start trading on Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal, raising $21.8 billion.

Earlier this month, Alibaba was expected to price its initial public offering between $60 and $66 per share. That was tied to an estimate pegging Alibaba's value somewhere close to $160 billion.

Previous estimates have plotted Alibaba's worth to be around $168 billion, which would make it the most valuable Internet company after Google.

Three days ago, the Hangzhou, China-headquartered corporation filed an amendment to its F-1 filing, boosting its new price range between $66 and $68 a share with a plan to raise up to $25 billion.

Alibaba first filed its F-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in May amid hopes for an IPO worth up to $20 billion.

In June, the New York Stock Exchange confirmed Alibaba would be headed to its Wall Street trading floors under the ticker symbol "BABA."

Alibaba has been making a number of moves to bolster its bottom line while courting Wall Street as well as Silicon Valley, from stocking up on patents to opening the doors to a new cloud datacenter in Beijing.

Known in the United States primarily for its association with Yahoo, Alibaba is an eBay-meets-Amazon and then some kind of business.

Alibaba owns Taobao Marketplace, China’s largest online shopping business, as well as Tmall, the country's largest third-party platform for brands and retailers. As boasted by the company itself in the F-1, "Alibaba is synonymous with e-commerce in China."

Most of Alibaba's revenue derives from online marketing and ads. Other revenue streams include membership and transaction fees, value-added services, and cloud services.

There are a few big tech IPOs on the horizon expected to close before the end of 2014. But one thing we can all bank on is that none will be as big as Alibaba.

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