The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.
How's this for meta? The chatter on social media (particularly on Twitter) seems to show that investors are a lot more excited about the Alibaba (BABA) initial public offering than they were for Twitter's (TWTR) IPO last November.
Igor Gonta, CEO of Market Prophit, a firm that analyzes social media posts and blogs and ranks people based on the performance of their commentary, called sentiment for Alibaba "phenomenal."
Gonta noted that the big difference between Alibaba and Twitter is that even the skeptics expect Alibaba to be a huge hit on its first day of trading. That's certainly the case with famed Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, who told CNN he wouldn't buy Alibaba, but he predicts a bounce on Friday.
"The Alibaba naysayers who say they are not believing the hype are still bullish," Gonta said. "This thing is just such a monster."
It's understandable why investors are enthusiastic. Alibaba is profitable and growing rapidly and its presence can be felt throughout pretty much the entire Chinese e-commerce sector. Alibaba is not just about potential like many IPOs often are.
One fan on Twitter thinks the stock will have a pretty big pop and cites numerology as a reason.
Don't laugh! My colleague Sophia Yan had a great story a few months ago where she spoke with fortune tellers in Hong Kong about the role luck could play in the IPO.
And that $80 target is actually conservative. Gonta said that there are some traders predicting that the stock could go as high as $100 on its first day.
Alibaba is also expected to have a big impact on other high-profile tech stocks. Some of the top tweeters tracked by Market Prophit, including traders going by the handle of @udgstocks and @sethque, are also hoping that Yahoo (YHOO) will continue to surge after Alibaba starts trading.
That's because Yahoo owns a more than 20% stake in Alibaba and will be selling a portion of its investment to use for a share buyback and possibly some of its own acquisitions.
Over on StockTwits, a platform dedicated solely to talking about investing, one trader suggested that Japan's SoftBank (SFTBY), which owns more than 35% of Alibaba and is not selling any shares, is also a good bet. A lift in SoftBank's value could also help Sprint (S), the struggling U.S. telecom that SoftBank controls.
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