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Snap Shares Soar by 50 Percent on First Day of Trading

Snap started trading at $24 a share on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, soaring more than 50 percent from its pricing.

The company, trading under the ticker SNAP, priced its 200 million share public offering at $17 a share on Wednesday. The IPO was 12 times oversubscribed, sources said.

After opening shortly before 11:20 a.m. on Thursday in New York, shares traded around $24.40 a share, up 44 percent, with 64 million shares changing hands. The opening price of $24 puts the company's market capitalization at about $33 billion, about the size of Marriott and Target.

The young ephemeral photo messaging company posted a $515 million loss last year. Nonetheless, investors have bet on its quickly growing revenue and visionary leader, 26-year-old co-founder CEO Evan Spiegel.

Spiegel arrived at the stock exchange on Thursday morning to ring the bell, with supermodel fiancee Miranda Kerr in tow, documenting with pictures on the app.

The Venice, California-based company, which serves augmented reality and cinematic advertisements to its young adult audience, could be a bellwether as other start-up giants, such as Airbnb and Uber, mull a public offering.