Earlier today, SNAP Inc. (NYSE SNAP) priced 200 million shares at $17 in an initial public offering said to be "the richest" since Facebook, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: FB) 2012 IPO, as reported by Reuters. In total, the offering raised $3.4 billion in new capital for Snap, and placed a market capitalization of near $24 billion on the social media start up, which was founded in 2011. Another Reuters article called the Snap IPO the "most anticipated" since Alibaba Group Holdings Inc.'s (NYSE: BABA), in 2014.

BABA stock has gained about 10.8 percent since first trading in 2014, compared with a gain of 22.2 percent for the general market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), which closed at a new all-time high, the first time above 21,000, today.

FB stock has returned 259.5 percent since it came public in 2012; over the same period, the Dow returned 70.7 percent.

Two-hundred million shares of SNAP stock

SNAP underwriters were reported to be initially hoping to sell the 200 million shares for a price ranging from $14 to $16. A book that was said to be oversubscribed by 10 times, could have reportedly allowed a price as high as $19 per share, with an anonymous source saying that "securing mutual funds as long-term investors rather than hedge funds looking to quickly sell" was the priority of management.

It is noted that Snap is going public at a much earlier stage in its development than Facebook, and that when Facebook went public, it was valued at 27 times revenue.

SNAP stock's current 60 times revenue valuation would appear to indicate that it carries more risk than FB stock did when it was first traded publicly -- along with potentially greater rewards.

Twenty-six-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel turned billionaire

Evan Spiegel, the 26-year-old Snap CEO, is reportedly getting 17 percent of the new shares; holdings worth over $4 billion.

Scores of other early investors are described as becoming "overnight millionaires" as a result of the deal. Snap is headquartered in Venice, California and employs 1,859 people. The firm is said to have last reported holding a cash position of $987.37 million, and negligible debt of $15.14 million. Only one analyst followed by Yahoo Finance issues earnings per share estimates for Snap, so far, calling for losses of $0.36 and $0.16, in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

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