Facebook's IPO: Could it come in the first half of 2012?
Facebook's initial public offering has been the source of Wall Street speculation for months. Some thought the IPO would come this year, others have reported that it wouldn't arrive until late next year.
And on Monday, the Wall Street Journal added fuel to the Facebook IPO fire with a report that the world's largest social network, with more than 800 million users, is prepping to issue its first public stock offering in the second quarter of 2012.
The Facebook IPO could be a $10-billion offering based on a $100-billion valuation of the Palo Alto-based company. But as to when in the second quarter the IPO would come, well that hasn't yet been decided, the Journal said in its report, citing unnamed "people familiar with the matter."
As reported by my colleague Walter Hamilton over on our sister-blog Money & Company:
The timing of Facebook's IPO is likely to hinge in part on the condition of the stock market, which has not been kind lately to some other prominent tech IPOs.
In a major disappointment, shares of one of this year's most closely watched IPOs, online-coupon company Groupon Inc., have plunged recently. The stock closed Monday at $15.24, far below the $20 price at which it sold shares to investors earlier this month.
Zuckerberg also said that an IPO isn't something he spent "a lot of time on a day-to-day basis thinking about."
"We've made this implicit promise to our investors and to our employees that by compensating them with equity and by giving them equity, that at some point we're going to make that equity worth something publicly and liquidly, in a liquid way," he said. "Now, the promise isn't that we're going to do it on any kind of short-term time horizon. The promise is that we're going to build this company so that it's great over the long term, right. And that we're always making these decisions for the long term, but at some point we'll do that."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks around Harvard University in Cambridge on Nov. 7, 2011. Credit: Brian Snyder/Reuters