What really happened on May 18, 2012, with the botched IPO of Facebook Inc. (NasdaqGS: FB)?
Well, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) just released its version of events under the guise of Administrative Proceeding File No. 3-15339.
And "In the Matter of THE NASDAQ STOCK MARKET, LLC and NASDAQ EXECUTION SERVICES, LLC (Respondents)" the SEC slapped wrists and fined the fools $10 million for screwing up Facebook's IPO - the largest-ever fine imposed on an exchange.
Of course, it's good reading. But there's something missing.
It's called "the truth."
Facebook Stock Ends Disappointing Year One; Any Shot at a Comeback?
One year ago, Facebook stock (Nasdaq: FB) made its trading debut in one of the most highly anticipated initial public offerings ever.
While it's okay to offer a congratulatory happy anniversary, it's been anything but a honeymoon for the company and investors.
Some 421 million shares were sold, raising $16 billion, giving Facebook a whopping $104 billion valuation.
Then the disastrous story began: Shares were priced at $38, opened at $40, and then, within 10 market hours after the pricing, Facebook stock flailed. Technical glitches at the Nasdaq caused a delayed open, late executions and reports, and mispriced trades.
Lawsuits are still pending.
If this Works, Facebook Stock Could be the "Buy of the Decade"
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.
IPO Performance of 2013: Check Out Winners and Losers
2013 has been a strong year for IPO performance so far.
About 40 deals have been priced through the second week of April, and 33 of the deals have moved higher in the secondary market with an average gain of more than 20%.
If you missed these profits, don't worry. There is no sign of any slowing in the IPO market, as there are currently nine deals already scheduled for the next two weeks. In fact, IPO dollar volumes for the year so far are nearing the $9 billion mark, on par with the levels seen in 2012.
Let's take a look at the biggest and best IPO performances so far in 2013.
Facebook Stock Risk: New Social Media Apps Luring Teens Away
Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) is starting to get a taste of what it means to be the king of the social media hill.
Small and more nimble competitors with novel ideas have sprung up and begun to entice young users away from the No. 1 social media platform - a bad omen for Facebook stock, which 11 months after its IPO still trades 29% below its offer price.
According to Piper Jaffray's annual "Taking Stock of Teens" survey, teens are spending less time with Facebook and more with a vast array of alternatives.
The survey showed that just 33% of teens consider Facebook "the most important social network" compared with 42% last year.
Last month, the creator of social photo album app Albumatic, Adam Ludwin, conducted a focus group of users under 25.
"They gave me the typical teenage response: 'We're bored with Facebook,'" Ludwin told Business Insider.
Anyone who doubts how quickly a social media company can become yesterday's news need only look at MySpace, a once-dominant social media site that lost a third of its users in 2010 mostly as a result of Facebook's growing popularity.
"History is not on Facebook's side when the trend starts to move in the wrong direction," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told MarketWatch.
IPO Calendar 2013 Heats Up With These Five New Offerings
After a slow start to April with just one deal scheduled for pricing, the IPO calendar is getting crowded again in the second week of the month.
The equity markets remain fairly strong and recent IPOs have performed very well so there is strong institutional demand for equities in general, and new offerings specifically.
As long as the market is propped up by an aggressive U.S. Federal Reserve policy, stock prices should stay firm and that makes for favorable conditions for new equity offerings.
Here are five to keep on your radar.
Facebook IPO Deal Leaves Wall Street Seeing Red
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday approved Nasdaq's plan to pay $62 million in compensation to brokers for mishandling the Facebook IPO. The Nasdaq missteps during Facebook's (Nasdaq: FB) debut cost Wall Street a collective $500 million and firms have fought to recoup those losses.
The amount was cleared by the SEC after Nasdaq offered to pay more than is allowed under its existing bylaws. As a self-regulatory organization, the Nasdaq enjoys certain legal protections which could have resulted in a significantly smaller settlement.
Nasdaq proposed the voluntary $62 million as more firms claimed that the exchange misrepresented facts of what went wrong in trading that day. The amount is much more than the $3 million cap its rules permit for technical glitches.
Not everyone's on board with the decision. Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) and UBS AG (NYSE: UBS) urged the SEC to reject it, saying losses within their market-making units exceed $62 million. In fact, Citigroup raised the immunity argument last August in a letter to the SEC.
"Market participants suffered hundreds of millions of dollars of losses as a result of Nasdaq's profit-driven conduct prior to and during the Facebook IPO, not a result of protected regulatory activity by Nasdaq, or routine system failures. Nasdaq should not be permitted to hide behind regulatory immunity," Citi wrote in a letter to the SEC.
UBS, which claims to have lost more than $350 million, told the SEC brokers should be made whole. Many agree.
"Why should the banks and brokers be left holding the bag for Nasdaq's snafus?" Scott Sales, a lawyer at Paul Hasting LLP who handles corporate listings and is not involved in the settlement, told The Wall Street Journal last month.
The SEC acknowledges the proposal won't compensate for all losses, but added it provides "significantly more compensation for eligible claims, outside of litigation, than would otherwise be available."
IPO Calendar 2013: Don't Miss SSNI, MODN
The IPO calendar for 2013 is starting to get more crowded as spring approaches.
The aftermarket for initial offerings has been especially strong as investors are rewarded for investing in new ventures and private equity cash outs.
Analysts expect the pace of offerings to continue to increase as the demand has been very strong and the equity markets are at or approaching new all-time highs.
There will be two deals pricing in the next couple weeks and several larger deals are expected by the end of the month, including the widely anticipated Sea World offering.
In the last few days there have been two deals added to the upcoming IPO calendar with specific pricing dates coming in the next couple weeks.
IPO Calendar 2013: Who to Watch in March
After a very quiet end to February, several high-profile deals should make the initial public offering (IPO) calendar for March 2013.
The year has gotten off to a great start with strong market performance by newly public companies. Overall there have been 20 IPOs so far this year and 17 are currently trading higher than the offering price.
One of the biggest has been Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NCLH) with a blistering gain of more than 50% in just a few weeks.
March will see a slow but interesting start with just two deals coming to market in the first week of the month.
2013 IPO Calendar: Who to Watch
After Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) went public last year with disastrous results, the IPO calendar emptied for more than a month.
But thanks to a string of successes toward the end of 2012, the IPO market is heating up for 2013.
In fact, companies that went public after Facebook's May 18 IPO were up an average 31% through mid-December from their IPO price, with the S&P 500 only up 11% in that time.
As we start 2013, the overall pessimism that engulfed the IPO market since Facebook went public has disappeared.
"To me, it feels like a meaningful shift in the market," said Tom Murphy, a partner and head of the securities-capital and markets group at law firm McDermott Will & Emery. "With those companies [that had great IPOs], all in very different industries, getting out at the top of their ranges, and above, is a really strong signal."
The IPO Rebound
The IPO market started rebounding in October, specifically during the week of Oct. 8- Oct. 12, when nine companies went public, the most since the end of March.
"There was a big hiccup with Facebook, but in general, new issues in the market are doing well," Jonathan Crane, chairman of KeyBanc Capital Markets' equity-underwriting committee told The Wall Street Journal. "People are gravitating toward anything with growth, and in that respect, I think things have returned to normal."
The best performing of those October debuts was Workday Inc. (NYSE: WDAY), a provider of cloud-based applications used to organize human resources, accounting and other employee-related activities.
Workday went public Oct. 12 and opened at $48.05, 72% higher than its $28 offer price. It was the largest venture-backed IPO since Facebook went public in May, raising $637 million in cash. WDAY stock currently trades at $50.
Workday's IPO is part of a successful trend in cloud-based companies going public.
"For now, the megatrends in the IPO market include cloud-based computing - which includes companies such as Workday, Demandware Inc. (NYSE: DWRE), Splunk, ServiceNow Inc. (NYSE: NOW), Guidewire Software Inc. (NYSE: GWRE) and Palo Alto Networks - and high-end branded goods such as Michael Kors Holding Ltd. (NYSE: KORS) and Prada that appeal to consumers in emerging markets," says Sam Hamadeh, chief executive of Privco, a financial dataprovider.
Who to Put on Your 2013 IPO Calendar
Based on the performance of the above companies, there are plenty of reasons to be excited for next year's IPOs.
"The positive returns helped revive global IPO activity at the end of 2012 and should support stronger issuance in 2013 from the large $200 billion global IPO pipeline," according to Renaissance Capital's year-end IPO report.
Here are some IPOs in 2013 to keep an eye out for: