Facebook IPO Shares
Facebook met earnings per share estimates of 12 cents on revenue of $1.18 billion. Analysts had expected EPS of 12 cents on revenue of $1.16 billion.
Estimates had been slashed several times and many experts did not think Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) would miss these lowered estimates - especially after is horrible IPO already delivered a colossal disappointment.
But the fact that earnings forecasts were so low made the fact that the company beat them a non-event.
"These earnings are meh," one equities analyst told Business Insider.
Another problem with the earnings report: There were no real clues as to how Facebook was ever going to make real money.
Facebook has had a hard time turning users into profits as more people use Facebook via mobile, an area Facebook has yet to monetize - and a key issue investors want addressed in today's earnings call.
"Everything is moving toward mobile," Debra Williamson, an analyst at eMarketer, told USA Today. "Gaining revenue from mobile and improving that experience are two things that Facebook absolutely has to focus on in coming years."
Reports surfaced Thursday that Facebook hired a team of former Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) employees to completely redesign the Facebook iPhone app, which will no doubt include some of its new advertising plans. The aim is to generate more revenue from its growing mobile user base.
But it's still unclear whether or not Facebook can do that.
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."
Just after the Facebook IPO price range got a boost, Facebook investors raised the number of shares they are selling in the social network giant's initial public offering. While the company isn't selling any more, individual investors like Accel Partners, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) and others will sell an additional 83.8 million shares.
That brings that total number of shares to be sold to 421.2 million, according to a new regulatory filing, and lifts the sale to as much as $16 billion.
While the news was welcomed by ordinary investors clamoring for shares as Facebook debuts, it's curious why more and more insiders are racing to sell part of their stake. The move may just be a signal of the IPO's astronomical demand - but could make some investors wary.
"If the demand wasn't there, they wouldn't have upsized the deal," Greenwood Capital's Walter Todd told Bloomberg News. "On the other hand, when you see insiders unloading their stakes, you start to wonder why. I could see it turning some institutional investors off."
During a Wednesday morning appearance on the FoxBusiness "Varney & Co." program, Money Morning's Shah Gilani said the Facebook Inc. founder and CEO should reserve 20% of the potential $100 billion initial public offering (IPO) for some of the company's 6 00 million subscribers - since they're the folks who really made Zuckerberg the king of social networking (as well one of the youngest billionaires in history).
Given that the Facebook IPO is likely to be one of the hottest ever when the company goes public next year, Gilani said that his proposal would probably be the only way the average investor could get a piece of the company at the offering price. Otherwise, retail investors who really want to own Facebook shares will be forced to buy in on the secondary market after Facebook's share price has experienced what's expected to be a stratospheric zoom. So he challenged Zuckerberg to make this pioneering move.
"Zuckerberg made history with Facebook - and now he's the king of social media and social networking - the man with the Midas touch," said Gilani, a former Wall Street insider and Money Morning commentator who operates the Capital Wave Forecast advisory service. "But now it's time for him to give some of the gold that he's earned as the head of Facebook back to the people who helped make that happen."
Added Gilani: "Facebook was Act One for him. This kind of pioneering move with the Facebook IPO could be Act Two - the encore. If social media is a force for good, this would be Zuckerberg's opportunity to once again prove he's a real social innovator."