Double duh if you're thinking of buying Facebook stock now that it's fallen to $32 a share and lost $17.16 billion off its initial $104 billion valuation.
The company is only worth about $7.50 a share. And, no. That's not a typo. There is no missing zero or a placeholder.
That's reality. What is ludicrous is that Morgan Stanley and Facebook executives thought the company merited a $104 billion valuation at 100 times earnings.
As my good friend Barry Ritholtz pointed out recently, both Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) debuted at about 15 times earnings. Today they trade at 13.6 and 18.2 times earnings and 3.75 and 4.9 times sales respectively.
As I type, Facebook's market cap is $86.84 billion and its price to sales is ridiculously high at 21.01. I think that's way out of line.
So what should the numbers be?
Try this on for size. If we use Google's price to sales ratio of 4.9 (and I am being generous here for discussion purposes), that equals a total market cap of $20.24 billion or 76.68% lower than where it's trading today.
With 2.74 billion shares outstanding, that's equal to only $7.39-$7.50 per share.
No doubt I'll get the evil eye from the Facebook faithful and Morgan Stanley for saying this, but think about it.
Revenue is already slowing and the company does not and cannot possibly dominate the mobile markets that are becoming the preferred channel for millions of people.
Worse, startups are already cannibalizing Facebook's user base as concerns over privacy and who likes who mount.
Companies like General Motors (NYSE: GM) are deciding not to renew their advertising. This is going to hit Facebook to the tune of $10 million a year for the loss of GM alone.
More will undoubtedly head out the door for the same reason, since Facebook friends don't necessarily translate into revenue.
Corporate buyers are beginning to figure out that advertising on Facebook is simply not cost effective versus other media alternatives - gasp - including good old fashioned television and radio advertising, billboards and tradeshows.