Facebook, which is expected to offer its shares publicly for the first time this year, will list on the Nasdaq and will go under the ticker FB. The news was reported by Evelyn M. Rusli in the New York Times’ Dealbook. The information came from sources close to the matter who wish to remain anonymous at this time. NASDAQ (NASDAQ:NDAQ) has traditionally been the home to large tech companies such as Apple, Google and HP and Facebook is clearly following in their footsteps. As we edge closer to the as of yet undetermined date of the offering the fever pitch of news has increased to dramatic levels.
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Facebook filed for its IPO on February 1st with the SEC. That was the same week the social networking site celebrated its 8th birthday. The company filed that it was hoping to raise around $5 billion from the offering and that Morgan Stanley would underwite the process. The shares are expected to finally become available in May ending the wait for what has been the most anticipated IPO in recent years. The company has delayed its offering on fears that it would be undervalued in the midst of the recession while also trying to increase the business side of the site. As with many Web based service Facebook’s huge popularity has not yet translated into what investors see as proportional revenue. The company is on the right track toward that goal however. The company’s revenue in 2011 was around $3.7 billion and net income was around $1 billion.
The only other problem facing the company is its increasing profile in cases of user privacy infringement. The company has been indicted several times in cases where users felt their data was improperly obtained or used by the company and the company has been sued more than once for such offences. The market seems to be ignoring such news for now but with the other massive tech companie, Apple and Google, involved in similar cases it may only be a matter of time before users concerns come to a head and have a real effect on the way people interact with their data on Web services. Whatever the outcome, whether full ignorance or a measure of user response, Facebook will be hoping such problems do not command public attenition before its IPO takes place. The $100 billion valuation is set to create around 1000 millionaires and bring Mark Zuckerberg to the top section of world’s richest lists.
Expect to see the ticker (NASDAQ:FB) everywhere you look in the coming months as the atmosphere surrounding the IPO continues to build. Facebook is expected to be the largest Nasdaq IPO since Google’s offering in 2004. That company raised $1.7 billion from its offering. If Facebook’s valuation is correct they would far surpass that and become the largest Nasdaq offering for some time into the future. $5 billion in the IPO would put the company at an estimated worth of $100 billion making it one of the most valuable in the world.