FB) first several days were much more frantic, and it was a larger offering, with 574 million shares traded on day one, and 13% of that, or 74 million on day four. By then, shares had fallen 16% since the first close, and 29% from the day one high. CMG) and Burger King ( BKW) combined. Together, these chains have generated $4.35 billion in trailing 12-month revenue and $515 million in net income during the same period. The pair has an average price-to-sales ratio of about 5.5, which is high for the restaurant sector, but a fraction of Twitter's.
Sticking with the restaurant theme, for about the same amount, you could string together Darden ( DRI), Dunkin Brands ( DNKN), Panera ( PNRA) and Wendy's ( WEN), which have generated nearly $16 billion in trailing revenue, $825 million in net income, and a have a 1.48 price to sales ratio. Alternatively, for the same market cap, (and this is my favorite), you could put together Brinker ( EAT), Buffalo Wild Wings ( BWLD), Cracker Barrel ( CBRL), Cheesecake Factory ( CAKE), Texas Roadhouse ( TXRH), Jack in the Box ( JACK), Papa John's ( PZZA), Dine Equity ( DINE), Bob Evans ( BOBE), Red Robin ( RRGB), Sonic ( SONC) and AFC Enterprises ( AFCE). NATH), theoretically that is. Admittedly, restaurants are not an apples-to-apples comparison to new-fangled social-media companies with high expected growth rates. But they may help to put Twitter's valuation into perspective. Analysts are expecting Twitter to generate $1.14 billion in revenue for 2014, which puts the forward price-to-sales ratio at a more respectable, but still very high 20, especially for a company that is not expected to be profitable until 2015. Follow @JonMHellerCFA This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.