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  (Source: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
Company is estimated to be worth around $107B USD, including unexercised share options

Facebook -- the world's most used website and the largest social network in the world -- is on the eve of its initial public offering of stock.

The price of shares -- $38 USD -- was just announced.  That places Facebook's tenative market capitalization at $81B USD, more than some expected.  Combined with executives unexercised share options, the company's total valuation appears to be around $107B USD, according to experts.  That's notably a higher valuation than the world's top online retailer, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) who "only" has a current market cap of $98.4B USD.

The IPO will raise $16B USD, based on the announced share price.  The IPO is the third largest in U.S. history, behind only Visa Inc.'s (V) 2008 offering of $19.7B USD in stock and General Motors, Inc.'s (GM) $18.1B USD post-bankruptcy stock offering.

Shares will trade under the symbol "FB".  It is unlikely that many shares will reach the hands of small independent traders; the IPO is underwritten by finance house Morgan Stanley (MS) and most shares will go to large institutional investors, mutual funds and hedge funds.  This is different from other top tech IPOs of the past, such as Google, Inc. (GOOG) who sold directly to individual investors via a "Dutch auction" process.

The expected offering date is May 18, pending approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The stock offering is destined to transform Facebook's early investors and founding members into multi-millionaires, if not billionaires.  Facebook's co-founder has reportedly abandoned his U.S. citizenship in order to avoid paying much of the taxes on the windfall that will be coming his way.  Iconic co-founder Mark Zuckerberg remains a U.S. citizen and has pledged to give away his fortune to charity when he dies, as suggested by his mentor, Bill Gates.

Facebook is a company of much controversy and potential.  Some believe it could increase profits by a substantial multiplier if it jumped into the online payments business as a competitor to eBay, Inc.'s (EBAY) Paypal service.  However, concerns over privacy and censorship remain active discussions and may make some investors cautious of diving in to the Facebook stock.

Source: CNN Money



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RE: HERE COMES FACEBOOK'S FIRST STOCK TRADE...
By sarfralogy on 5/18/2012 11:58:12 AM , Rating: 2
Officially Facebook opened at $42.05 and shot up to $43 immediately.... WSJ reports


RE: HERE COMES FACEBOOK'S FIRST STOCK TRADE...
By mcnabney on 5/18/2012 3:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
And now it is drooping down to 38.

It appears that there just aren't enough suckers.


By kleinma on 5/18/2012 4:00:01 PM , Rating: 2
What a crappy first day on the public market when your stock sinks back down to the IPO investor price. I guess just having 900 million users that you suck the privacy from does not equal a valuable company that people want to invest in.


RE: HERE COMES FACEBOOK'S FIRST STOCK TRADE...
By iluvdeal on 5/18/2012 6:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
Multiple reports that the underwriting banks of the FB IPO had to step in and prop up the stock as it almost sunk below the IPO price of $38 today. Glad I didn't join the stampede in wanting to own shares today.


By TakinYourPoints on 5/18/2012 9:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
The support at $38 is crazy. Investment banks are doing their best to hold the price there


"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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