an amended S-1it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday. FB) shares, of course, fell in the days after opening and have only recently gone above the IPO price. Lots of big institutions are listed among Twitter's shareholders. JPMorgan funds own more than 10% of the company. Rivsi Traverse has a stake of 17.9%. Venture capitalists Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital and Benchmark Capital Partners all have more than 5% each. But when looking at the financial statements, this is also anti-Facebook in that it is a dead money loser. Twitter is showing a loss of $133 million on revenue of $422 million for the first nine months of 2013, against a loss of $70.7 million on revenue of $204.7 million for the same period a year earlier. The company's research expenses more than doubled over the period to nearly $200 million, and its marketing costs went from less than $58 million to almost $140 million. It did manage to show operating cash flow of almost $4.27 million this year, however. It was the computer glitches marking the Facebook IPO, the failure to match buyers and sellers for hours, that are said to be at the heart of Twitter's choice of the NYSE. It shows that the exchanges are really just transaction processors. So it's fitting that before the Twitter IPO process is completed, around the middle of next month, that the NYSE itself will be owned by an Atlanta transaction processor, InterContinental Exchange ( ICE), which is based just a few miles up I-285 from credit card processor First Data. That deal is due to be complete on Nov. 4.
ICE was able to buy the Big Board because commodities and futures markets now offer more action, more trading volume and more transaction processing capability than traditional stocks. Stocks like Twitter get the headlines, but it is futures markets that have the volume. An exchange, in the end, is just like any other transaction processing business. The quality of the computer services it provides determines its financial fate, and the volume of the transactions it processes define its finances. Follow @DanaBlankenhor This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.