Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Chance to Own Facebook. IPO Values Company at $80 to $100 Billion. Zuckerberg Maintains Control.

Facebook plans to raise between $5 and $10 Billion in its upcoming Initial Public Offering, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg should contain complete control. With 854 million active users, the company is expected to be valued at approximately $80 to $100 billion. Zuckerberg's current stake would be worth over $28 billion at estimated levels.

According to Thomson Reuters:

"Its IPO prospectus shows that Facebook generated $3.71 billion in revenue and made $1 billion in net profit last year, up 65 percent from the $606 million it made in 2010."

This would make Facebook one of the most expensive stocks on the market, with a price to earnings multiple of almost 100 times. For investors to generate any kind of long-term profits, this company is going to need to continue growing at a rapid pace for years. Given that it is failing to generate any meaningful income from mobile media devices, this is going to be very difficult.

There will, however, be a tight supply of shares when they issue. With $10 billion being floated, that leaves about 90 percent of the shares locked-up. Of course, insiders could begin liquidating after the IPO, but buying interest should give a floor to share prices. Nonetheless, Intelligent Investors beware of a hot IPO or a technology darling coming to market. Multiples are very, very, high. 

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