Facebook stock ‘a total disaster’ in big public debut

“Facebook Inc. shares got off to a rocky start in what has been the most highly anticipated initial public offering in history,” Joe Bel Bruno reports for The Los Angeles Times. “Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rang the Nasdaq opening bell from company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.”

“The stock jumped more than 10% in the first few minutes of trading. But then sellers swept into the market and that gain evaporated,” Bruno reports. “‘It’s a total disaster because the stock is trading right at the IPO price,’ said Francis Gaskins, editor of IPOdesktop.com in Marina del Rey. ‘They didn’t want that in a million years. A traditional IPO is up 10% or 15%.'”

Bruno reports, “The inauspicious opening suggests that retail investors paid close attention to reports of soft financials and big selling by insiders… There had been hopes that Facebook’s IPO would be a shot in the arm to the broader markets. But that too appears to have fallen by the wayside. Major U.S. stock indexes were all higher in the hours leading up to the public offering. Once Facebook shares began to weaken, however, so did the market.”

MacDailyNews Take: Facebook (FB) is currently trading at $38.13, +0.13‎, or +0.34%‎.

Read more in the full article here.

Stephen Gandel reports for Fortune, “Add taxes to the potential reasons the social network’s stock didn’t pop in its IPO. The issue is the $4 billion dollars that will be owed by Facebook’s employees as part of their stock windfall in six months. That tax bill is almost certain to lead to a wave of forced selling of at least 100 million of the company’s shares, and quite possibly much more, within the next six months. The risk of all those shares flooding the market was likely a weight on Facebook’s offering.”

Read more in the full article here.

Andrew Tangel reports for The Los Angels Times that Facebook underwriters are propping up the stock as it nears break-even marks: “The big Wall Street banks that brought Facebook public scrambled to prevent the stock from collapsing into declines.”

Tangel reports, “The underwriters averted a potential debacle by scooping up shares of the company during the Nasdaq debut. This propped up the stock, keeping it above the $38 offering price through most of the day. ‘When a deal gets priced and breaks price on the first day, that’s definitely a major embarrassment,’ said trader Andrew Frankel, co-president of Stuart Frankel & Co. “‘But it didn’t do that here – at least for the time being.'”

“The practice is pretty standard during IPOs, especially high-profile ones like Facebook. The big banks buy into a wave of selling as a way to prevent their customers from suffering big losses,” Tangel reports. “The stock bolted at the open to $42.05, but then quickly withered in the first hour of trading. It touched $38 several times, but eked out a small rebound…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Next, Zuckerberg will be on the iPhone begging Cook for Ping integation.

87 Comments

  1. I think google is doing better than Facebook. Look at how android is penetrated in mobile phones, Facebook is so passive and the ads are not like Adsense which gives ads to the users who are interested to see based on google data bases.

    1. Facebook has ads? Either my Adblock extension is working, or my mental block is because I don’t even notice them. I’ll try a see if they’re there next time I’m on. If they do have ads, they must be REALLY PASSIVE.

      1. Google a ONE trick pony?
        I doubt that… they do a lot more then search.
        Revenue developing Ads and tracking what people search for and syncing Ads relative to what you seek is masterful. I don’t like it but absolutely amazing if you think about it. Google I believe controls Admob. And they do a lot of research in software not that they are very good… plus had at least the insight to steal code and hack a Droid to press out of the cookie cutter syndrome and start a mobile phone industry like Apple. No. Google is not a one trick pony.

        1. Facebook, what the hell for… I understand the benefits to networking but on Facebook – oh god, Linkedin or others are geared better for that… though Facebook is popular and many potentials to see ads. I think it is moronic…

            1. The digital equivalent of the Yellow Pages. A blue chip company, sure. But until they develop a second product, that’s all they are.

  2. Personal opinions of FB and their financials aside, didn’t they give accurate information if the stock is selling at what they priced it as? The idea of a stock needing to bounce at IPO would signal that the company undervalued itself or gave intentionally low prices for the sake of an opening bounce. It’s as if percieved “good” news is better than accurate forecasting. Its a similar situation with Apples forecast earnings. Everyone knows they’re low balling. It as long as they beat their own lowball estimate, they have an easy win in their pocket.

    1. You, sir, are smarter than most analysts. If a stock has a huge pop at the IPO, that means the company got much less money from investors (that is the point of the IPO, after all) than they could have. Having it settle at the IPO price means that they priced it as high as possible, given the demand.

      1. Try explaining that to the friends and family who were allowed to buy at the IPO price.

        Stocks usually priced intentionally to climb after the IPO so that those who were able to buy pre-IPO can turn a profit.

    2. You have missed the point of pricing an IPO. You WANT the price to go up quickly after opening because it “proves” that the company’s stock was highly sought after.

      First, there always are large, private and institutional investors who are offered large numbers of shares at a price significantly discounted from the public IPO offering price. These usually plan to sell soon after the IPO, so they are highly concerned with the stock going up. Up = Profit.

      Second, the stock price taking a big jump on the first day is really good PR and drives more buyers, which further ups the price. A tepid price jump, or heaven forbid, a drop, cools investors’ heels very quickly because they stop and ask themselves, “What does everyone else know that I don’t? What’s wrong with this company?”

      Third, the whole point of the IPO is to make money for the corporation and its existing shareholders. If a feeding frenzy develops because the stock is viewed as a good deal, then everyone’s stock goes up, the company earns more money and is worth more money.

      The trick for the firm conducting the IPO is to properly price the stock so that it WILL go up after it opens. The fact that Facebook did not go up tells you that the IPO firm did not price the stock properly. My guess is that they were concerned about the same thing happening, and thus decided to cash in on the massive hype and get as much money as they could from the opening bell rather than hope for a subsequent jump, because they knew it was unlikely to occur unless the IPO price was obviously low.

    3. The “target”price was chosen before hand, and their underwriter jumped in to prevent the price from dropping below the target price. This was a “for display purposes only” IPO; the stock will be in the junk bin shortly, and everyone who bought at the IPO price will lose their shirt.

      FB does not “do” anything; why should the stock be worth anything?

  3. Facebook is a non-productive company. They make nothing. They exist because of the perception that we all need to be ‘connected’ at all times. Its an advertising play, at best.
    This is the beginning of people going back to MAKING things – this company epitomizes delusion and emptiness.

    1. Last I read there are 2.2 Billion people on the internet and Facebook has 900-million accounts wherein many of its members are networking in myriad ways to share and exchange information.

      I am one of the millions on Facebook who create video, animation, stories, photographs, poetry, and I share it with the people who are in my circle of FB friends and family.

      I have lots of family across the Atlantic whom I’ve never met and sharing our lives brings us together in ways you cannot imagine.

      We don’t want Facebook to “make” things, that would deviate from their business model dramatically. We just want them to provide a means to connect with family.

      What’s wrong with that?

      1. If it works for you, great. For the most part, Facebook buys and sells the privacy of its members to the highest bidders, while hiding behind the guise of being “a great place to connect” party line. I won’t shed a tear if their stock doesn’t do well.

        1. Who’s pretending, or projecting as it were?

          Say whatever you want about the financials, it’s way over my paygrade, I’m just a lowly creative who has found yet another outlet for my craft. So sue me.

      2. You already have a means to connect wiht family, it’s called the internet. Facebook is just a website that wants to insert itself into your communications and use the internet, which you already pay for, to add adverts.

    2. Facebook will be under pressure from investor’s to increase revenues and so the ads which are fairly discreet now, will get way in your face, big bold colors, animations, fireworks, and audio and video you can’t shut off. And then users will flee.

    3. I’ve been strongly warning people about the Facebook IPO since it was first announced. However, I think your sentiment is total BS.

      There are plenty of very successful companies providing utility through services without “making” anything.

      Facebook is totally over-hyped and over-valued, but that doesn’t mean it’s “empty”, nor a completely invalid business. It just means that the stock should be priced at a fraction of what it is (and ultimately will be).

      As far as going back to “making” things… a long time ago the US moved to a service dominated economy, if anything it’s increasingly moving in that direction. Even companies like Apple don’t just make things without providing a whole ecosystem of services to go with the things they make, wherein what they make are really just tools for accessing those services.

        1. There are plenty of very successful companies providing utility through services without “making” anything.

          YEAH — name one — ok!!!!!

          How about these two, Fedex and UPS… servicing industries delivering packages to other places for people and companies.
          Extremely successful, they make what? Boxes no. Make paper work and tracking devices no… they deliver.

            1. @Zek,

              The question was about “making” something as opposed to providing a service. UPS makes nothing, but provides a valuable service and is successful at doing it. Facebook is “just a website” ya, and UPS is just a shipper. AT&T is just a carrier. Netflix, the iTunes stores, etc…, they’re all just websites too.

              Again, it’s a totally valid argument that Facebook is worth no where near the market valuation it has, and I’d even lead the argument in that regard, but it is a valid business like many others that provide services instead of making anything.

    4. +1000 billy fishburner… agreed

      Facebook is a stupid yearbook of who is who doing what.
      I hated yearbooks and still do. Nice memory to have fine… but to daily update it and see who is where and saying what today… unimportant, meaningless and playing a video game DOES a person better. Oh yeah – thats why they have added gaming too. FB is a WAISTE LAND.

    5. +1000 billy fishburner… agreed

      Facebook is a stupid yearbook of who is who doing what.
      I hated yearbooks and still do. Nice memory to have fine… but to daily update it and see who is where and saying what today… unimportant, meaningless and playing a video game DOES a person better. Oh yeah – thats why they have added gaming too. FB is a WASTE LAND.

  4. More meaningless rubbish from ill-informed nitwits. Facebook’s stock will prove to be a reasonable investment in the near term for investors rich enough to stay in the market. The company has value beyond its IPO. Once the dust settles, it will pay a good return in the short run. BTW- I am anti social network

    1. Good return in the short run? Same as “hasn’t got any legs”?

      No Zuchebubble today. Maybe people actually recognize a colossal waste of time when they see it.

  5. It’s bouncing hard off of $38. Why hasn’t it hit $37.99 at least once today? Looks to me like someone is propping it up. Standing orders to buy as much as necessary at $38 to keep it up.

  6. I was able to get 50 shares and not worried about that little bit. Facebook will be a winner. However I have a lot of AAPL and I am very worried about that. I keep thinking it has hit bottom but my gut tells me 400 is more likely than 600 now.

    1. Joe,

      I think that you can make $ on both. FB’s biggest problem will come in August during the lockup release when the dilution of shares will become dramatic. 2.5 billion shares was always a signal that this wouldn’t do a double or anything crazy.

      If you bought a small amount for a long term investment, I think that you can hold it. This could be like getting into Apple at 6 or Microsoft at 24 when it first came out. In about 2 weeks you will be able to write covered calls on the stock to protect your initial investment if you’re in it for that long.

      As for Apple, unless you got into it recently you really have nothing to worry about. Most of the people on here bought it below 200 so are sitting pretty and not worrying. Apple is also a stock that usually does nothing but retracements until about September. It’s one of those stocks that can go to 480 and end up at 700 in a short period of time. My thoughts on this one and on FB: Put small amounts to work for you, accumulate on the way up and know when to fold if you’ve hit the top or go low. Do not invest the house in one stock. Hope that helps.

      PS. By the way, there is a rumor that FB will be added to the Nasdaq 100. If the voices hold true, then I wouldn’t be surprised if you see it in August – you guessed it, around the same time that the lockup period ends (If you’re still holding the stock then consider covered call writing).

  7. In the book 1984 Big Brother kept an eye on people but it was anything but voluntary. In 2012, people willingly surrender all kinds of private data that is bing collected and sold for profit. Facebook’s entire business model is built upon selling your privacy. Kinda strange, if you ask me.

    A nice Safari extension called Collusion is available, ported from it’s FireFox project. Shows who’s tracking you by website and allows you to block it.

    https://blog.disconnect.me/collusion-for-safari

  8. As much as I was swept up in the tech bubble of 1999-2000 (and paid the price for it), I didn’t fall for such IPOs as Palm (said by some to be “worth as much as GM”) or Enron. And I had/have no interest in Facebook. It’s a sucker’s bet, with only the big players (Zuckerberg and those managing the IPO) likely to be the winners.

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