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The 10 Biggest IPOs Ever


Twitter raised the price range for its IPO to $23 to $25 on Monday, meaning the company now has the potential to raise up to $2 billion. If it prices at the high end of its range, Twitter would have a market value of as much as $13.6 billion.

But despite being one of the most talked-about IPOs of the year, Twitter’s initial public offering is expected to be nowhere near as large as those of companies such as Visa and Facebook. Last year, Facebook raised $16 billion in an IPO that valued the social media giant at $104 billion. However, it's worth noting that Facebook shares, which debuted at $38, lost more than half their value within three months of going public.

As Twitter prepares for its public debut, check out these 10 U.S. companies that had the biggest IPOs ever, as compiled by S&P Capital IQ.

*Note: S&P Capital IQ considers AT&T Wireless a follow-on equity offering rather than an IPO, therefore it is not included on this list.

Related: Twitter's IPO Will Make All These People Millionaires and Billionaires

Image Credit: Harrison McClary/ Bloomberg

10. HCA Holdings

Hospital operator HCA became the largest-ever private equity-backed IPO when it raised $3.8 billion in March 2011.

1-day return: 3.4 percent

1-year return: -14.6 percent

Related: Twitter Going Public: Good or Bad for Franchisees?

Image Credit: Reuters/Chip East

9. The Travelers Companies

The insurance company raised $3.9 billion in its IPO in March 2002.

1-day return: 5.7 percent

1-year return: -18.8 percent

Image Credit: The New York Observer

8. Blackstone

The Blackstone Group’s June 2007 IPO raised $4.1 billion.

1-day return: 13.1 percent

1-year return: -41.4 percent

Image Credit: Conoco

7. Conoco (Now ConocoPhillips)

The oldest IPO on the top 10 list, Conoco raised $4.4 billion in its October 1998 IPO.

1-day return: 8.2 percent

1-year return: 19.6 percent

Image Credit: MSNBC Today

6. CIT Group

In July 2002, CIT Group raised $4.6 billion in its IPO.

1-day return: -4.4 percent

1-year return: 5.4 percent

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5. United Parcel Service

UPS raised $5.5 billion in its IPO in November, 1999. The offering price was $50 per share, the most expensive of all companies in the top 10.

1-day return: 36.3 percent

1-year returns: 17.3 percent

Related: Need a Prototype? 3-D Printers Coming to UPS Stores

Image Credit: Bloomberg

4. Kraft Foods

In June 2001, Mondelez raised $8.7 billion in its IPO. At the time, the global snacking business’s corporate identity was Kraft Foods. The company rebranded as Mondelez International in 2012.

1-day return: 0.8 percent

1-year return: 41.3 percent

Image Credit: AP

3. General Motors

General Motors raised $15.8 billion in its IPO in November 2010. At the time, General Motors was the biggest IPO is U.S. history. 

1-day return: 3.6 percent

1-year return: -34.0 percent

Image Credit: Ben Margot/Associated Press

2. Facebook

Facebook’s May 2012 IPO raised $16 billion for the social media company. However, the risks of a big IPO are lack of returns – Facebook didn’t close above $38 a share again until August 2013. 

1-day return: 0.6 percent

1-year return: -30.9 percent

Related: Is Facebook Really a Failure to Marketers?

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1. Visa

Visa’s IPO in March 2008 remains the biggest initial public offering in America. Buyers paid $17.9 billion, raising over a billion dollars more than Facebook in its debut.

1-day return: 28.4 percent

1-year return: 28 percent