The Facebook IPO was one of the biggest debacles in Wall Street history. As the stock languished below its IPO price month after month, most investors gave up on it. They shouldn't have. Now Facebook is on a roll, and the catalyst driving it is just getting started…
Facebook going public
- Why the Facebook Stock Price Has Doubled in Two Months
- If this Works, Facebook Stock Could be the "Buy of the Decade"
- Can Mobile Really Drive a Facebook Stock Rally?
- Facebook Stock Downgrades Keep Pouring In
- Facebook Stock Fails to Rally as Lockup Ends
- Facebook Stock Rises Despite These 852 Million Reasons to Fall
- Will a Weak Facebook Earnings Report Open Doors for these Competitors?
- Three Reasons the Facebook Earnings Report Will Disappoint
- Facebook Stock Options: Proceed with Caution
- Facebook Stock Price Gets Small Bump in Lackluster Debut
- Facebook Stock Ready to Roll – But Where Will it Go?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Options on the social networking giant started trading today (Tuesday) on the NYSE Amex. BATS Options Exchange will list options starting Wednesday.
So far, staying with the Facebook stock theme, investor interest has been high.
As trading began this morning, volume for puts exceeded calls by 1.29-to-1, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News. More than 62,000 puts, giving the right to sell, traded by 11 a.m. June $30 puts were the most active contracts, with volume at 10,974, followed by June $34 calls and June $32 calls.
"Facebook options, like the stock in its debut, post impressive first day volume so far," explained the Dow Jones' Kaitlyn Kiernan to The Wall Street Journal. "Facebook looks poised to become one of the most-traded corporate options today, with a total of 17,232 options - 7,476 puts and 9,756 calls traded in the session's first 15 minutes."
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."
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."