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 stock ticker
- 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
- Zynga IPO Flop Proves Social Media Listings Are Still Suspect
- A Tech IPO Bellwether: What to Watch as Zynga Stock Starts Trading
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."
A strong debut by Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA) today (Friday) could have redeemed the tarnished reputation of social media companies. Instead, the online game-maker became the latest addition to salvage yard full of over-hyped social media companies that didn't live up to the promise of their initial listings.
After debuting at $10 a share, Zynga stock tumbled 7.75% to $9.25 in just four short hours of trading.
Money Morning Capital Waves Strategist Shah Gilani wasn't surprised.
"I don't particularly like the position the company's in. It's got a lot of competition at its heels and I'm not sure about the valuation of the stock," he said on Fox Business' "Varney & Co." program this morning. "I think there's a lot of hype in the social media space."
Indeed, Zynga's failure follows in the footsteps of Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P), LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD), and Groupon Inc. (Nasdaq: GRPN).
But that's not all.
Here's what Zynga's initial public offering (IPO) means to investors going forward:
- Zynga will set the tone for 2012: The tech IPO market this year has fizzled, and was in desperate need of a spark that Zynga didn't provide. This is an undesirable lead-in for Facebook Inc., which is expected to debut in the second quarter of 2012. It might also hurt Yelp! Inc., the business review site that filed for an IPO on Nov. 17.
- It could influence future tech-IPO overpricing: Zynga drastically scaled back its initial pricing by more than 50% since July, when it was valued at $20 billion. Tech IPOs priced earlier in the year received a barrage of criticism for overpricing, but there's been much less of the same talk surrounding Zynga's range of $8.50 to $10. If it fails to close above $10 a share today, future tech IPOs may rethink their strategies.
Here's what you need to know about this latest tech IPO:
- Zynga will set the tone for 2012: The tech IPO market this year has fizzled, and could use a spark. Zynga could provide one. Scott Sweet of IPO Boutique told clients in an e-mail Wednesday morning there was more investor interest in Zynga than available shares. A strong debut for Zynga stock would be a good lead-in for Facebook Inc., which is expected to debut in the second quarter of 2012. It might also help Yelp! Inc., the business review site that filed for an IPO on Nov. 17. Finally, it might even subdue talk that tech is doomed for a second dot-com bubble.
- It's Facebook-dependent: Zynga's growth is tied directly to Facebook. It generates a whopping 95% of its revenue through the social networking site, and that's not going to change anytime soon. While the relationship is an incredible revenue boost for Zynga, it's also a huge investor concern. If the business relationship soured, Zynga's revenue stream would dry up immediately.
Still, this dependence could give Zynga stock a boost, in that investors eager to profit from Facebook's growth can do so with the social gamer.
Zynga's contract with Facebook isn't up for review until 2015, giving Zynga three years to develop new revenue sources and decrease its Facebook dependence - if it proves detrimental. The company plans to push its product toward high-growth Asian markets.
- It could mark the end of drastic tech-IPO overpricing: Zynga has drastically scaled back its initial pricing by more than 50% since July, when it was valued at $20 billion. Tech IPOs priced earlier in the year received a barrage of criticism for overpricing, but there's been much less of the same talk surrounding Zynga's adjusted range.
BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield recommended participating in the IPO in the $8.50 to $10 range, and said even at the higher end he thinks it could yield up to a 50% return for investors within a year. Greenfield said the lower IPO price range favors investors and expects the company's revenue to grow by about 45% over the next two years.