Facebook going public
Facebook stock is one of the most controversial stocks in existence today.
With one billion users, investors have been waiting to see if Facebook's business model can pay off, especially after its IPO tanked.
Today, Money Morning's own e-commerce director, Bret Holmes, is going to give you the inside scoop on Facebook stock. Not some theoretical financial analysis, but what the future looks like for Facebook, from a guy who understands e-commerce and can explain how Facebook stock could be the "buy of the decade" for investors.Click here to watch the interview.
Can Mobile Really Drive a Facebook Stock Rally?
One of the reasons Facebook stock (Nasdaq: FB) hasn't fared better since it started trading - it's off 25% from its $38 IPO price - is the company's failure to profit from increased mobile activity among users.
But now, less than a year after Facebook's acknowledgement that it needed to monetize its growing mobile member usage, the company bills itself as a truly mobile company.
"After initially struggling, Facebook has now mastered mobile, and I think the company has a bright future," CNBC's Jim Cramer said.
The company has made headway in the arena. Mobile monthly active users increased to 680 million in January, up 57% from a year earlier.
And mobile ad revenue tripled from the third to fourth quarter and now comprises 23% of total ad revenue.
"Over the last six months, while the public has pondered its mobile strategy, Facebook has quietly emerged as the superpower of application discovery, and is progressively playing a powerful role in reshaping e-commerce, media and advertising on mobile platforms," wrote All Things D. "Facebook's new products - ranging from open graph and timeline to mobile installs - are reshaping how brands, companies and app developers can connect with their audiences and facilitate discovery in a crowded app world."
More than half of Facebook users now access the site via mobile devices even though the on-the-go site lacks many features included in the PC version.
Nonetheless, the shift has been dynamic and is chipping away at FB's desktop income stream, which generates greater, but now waning, revenue.
All Things D says that as Facebook's mobile infrastructure develops, the social media behemoth is poised to transform mobile's future much like Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Adwords changed the face of search.
So does this mean the Facebook stock price will start to reward investors?
Facebook Stock Downgrades Keep Pouring In
They say third time's the charm, but no such luck for Facebook stock, which fell even though the company's third earnings report since going public beat expectations.
The numbers failed to charm Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) investors who expected the report would offer more to like, and analysis who found plenty of concern in the expenses.
The social networking giant posted earnings per share of 17 cents, better than the consensus of 15 cents. Revenue came in at $1.59 billion, up 40% year over year, and ahead of forecasts for $1.53 billion. However, fourth quarter profit slumped 79%, dragged down by higher costs.
The Menlo Park, CA-based company's advertising business grew at its quickest pace since before the company's initial public offering (IPO) on May 18, 2012, and contributed to the robust revenue growth.
Revenue growth has been a major concern among investors since the initial public offering, leaving them to question if the company can make money off its massive 1 billion members.
Immediately following the Q4 earnings release after the close Wednesday, shares slumped more than 9%. Shares ended the volatile after-hours session down some 4% at $29.98. The sell off continued Thursday with FB shares down 3.52 % in early morning trading.
Shares had gained some 60% since November, but it looks like the Facebook stock rally for now may be over.
Facebook Stock Fails to Rally as Lockup Ends
Facebook stock (Nasdaq: FB) fell more than 5% Friday as some 156 million shares held by early insiders and employees were freed from a lockup period.
It marked the fourth time a torrent of the social networking giant's shares were let loose for trading since the company's hugely hyped initial public offering (IPO) on May 18 at $38 a share.
The reaction to the sizable release of shares has been mixed.
Facebook stock fell to $28.61 Friday and ticked lower in afterhours trading. Option activity was also bearish, with puts still exceeding bullish calls over the next three months.
The fall reversed the surprising upward trend enjoyed amid the third and largest lockup expiration. On Nov. 14, 777 million shares, or about one-third of shares outstanding, were freed. Investors and analysts were bracing for the worst, but shares soared 12.5%.
In fact, Facebook stock gained more than 40% over the month's time between the third and fourth lockup expiration.
During the first lockup expiration on Aug. 15, when 270 million shares were set free, "smart money" and early investors quickly dumped shares. Over the course of the third lockup expiration on Oct. 29, with 234 million shares unleashed, shares slid 4%.
But now that four of the five lockup period expirations are over, more analysts are bullish than before.
"With improved visibility on the company's mobile transition, the majority of the lock-up expirations now behind us, and the potential opportunity from new products, we remain positive on Facebook shares," wrote Analyst Arvind Bhatia at Sterne Agee, who issued a "Buy" rating on Nov. 27, with a price target of $32.
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Facebook Stock Rises Despite These 852 Million Reasons to Fall
It's difficult to think that an additional 852 million shares of Facebook stock hitting the market wouldn't weigh on the already struggling share price.
That's why, for the third time in nearly as many months, Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) on Wednesday braced for what could have been the largest selling spree yet to hit the social networking giant.
Scores of early investors and employees were at liberty to sell 778 million shares. Another 31 million in restricted stock, awarded to employees who joined the Menlo Park, CA-based company prior to 2011, were also unbound, along with 48 million shares held by former employees.
The staggering number is almost equal to Facebook's existing 921 million share float, according to data from the company's most current filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
But, a strange thing happened.
Instead of falling amid the torrent of new shares, Facebook's stock rose Wednesday.
Right after the opening bell on Wall Street and for the first half hour of trading, the stock enjoyed a 10% rally. By 2 p.m., it was up nearly 12% at $22.22.
Why? Morningstar analyst Rick Summer says the result could have been that investors were planning to buy today after the price tumbled, and piled into the stock anyway.
"Certainly there was a delay and pent up demand in shares," Summer told ABC News.
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Will a Weak Facebook Earnings Report Open Doors for these Competitors?
We know investors will want a few key details from today's Facebook earnings report, like how much more user growth the site expects, if it can increase ad sales and how it'll tackle mobile usage.
But something people haven't questioned as much is if there are any competitors lurking in the shadows that could eat away at Facebook's online presence.
Turns out Facebook has reason to be concerned.
MarketWatch's David Weidner last week addressed some competition creeping into Facebook's world. In his article "Here's the app that could kill Facebook," Weidner detailed how an up-and-coming app could actually threaten Facebook's hold on social networking.
Tack this on to the list of reasons to avoid Facebook stock - in case you needed any more.
Path: A Facebook Threat?The app in question is called Path.
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Three Reasons the Facebook Earnings Report Will Disappoint
The Facebook earnings report for Q2 will be released Thursday after market close - meaning investors have a chance to see if concerns over Facebook's revenue and growth are warranted.
It's only been two months since Facebook's (Nasdaq: FB) long-awaited May 18 IPO. The day didn't exactly turn out as planned with Nasdaq's technical problems delaying trading and a measly one-day gain of 23 cents.
The result has been a lingering frustration among investors who hoped they were buying the next big tech stock - and are now in the red.
Since then, Facebook stock has fallen 24%.
A lot of expectations and answers should come with the Q2 earnings Thursday, but we're not so sure they'll be the answers investors have hoped to hear.
Here are three reasons we think the Facebook earnings report will disappoint.
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Facebook Stock Price Gets Small Bump in Lackluster Debut
In what was one of the most highly anticipated initial public offerings in history, Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) finally made its debut among much fanfare and frenzy Friday.
But the Facebook stock price failed to soar as high as the hype. While not exactly a dud, the intro was definitely subdued.
Shares opened around 11:30 a.m. in New York at $42.05, up about 11% from Facebook's IPO price. Momentum quickly ebbed, and shares dropped as low at the $38 IPO price in the first half hour of trading.
By 3 p.m. shares were hovering just above $38. But with an hour of trading still to go, investors shouldn't get complacent.
"The day isn't over," cautioned Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. But regarding Facebook's debut, "initial trading has not been impressive."
Facebook Stock Ready to Roll – But Where Will it Go?
The Facebook IPO price was set and the stock is ready to start trading - but will it live up to its hype or sharply sell-off?
The social media giant priced at $38 a share, the company announced after market close yesterday (Thursday).
That makes Facebook the largest tech IPO in history, valued at $16 billion.
It's the third largest U.S. IPO ever, behind first place Visa at $19.7 billion and then General Motors, which raised $18.1 billion.
While the stock has created unrivaled investor frenzy, there is a wide range of predictions for how Facebook will do in its first trading day - and who the real winners will be.
"The ones who make out on IPOs are the early investors, venture capitalists, founders, and underwriters," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. "The public almost always goes along for the ride...whether or not they get taken for a ride remains to be seen." The Facebook stock price will be determined when it starts trading today at 11 a.m.
Where the cutoff is for considering the IPO a success varies - with many thinking anything below 50% would be a disappointment.
"I think anything over 50 percent will be considered a successful offering - anything under that would be underwhelming, Jim Krapfel, an analyst at Morningstar, told Reuters. "A lot of retail investors are not concerned about valuation. That's what is going to drive the first day pop."