Facebook's Amazing IPO By The Numbers

Unless you spent the better part of the week under a rock, you probably heard that Facebook, the game-changing social media giant, officially filed its paperwork to go public this week.  Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, the company proceeded to ignite a social phenomenon that drastically altered the way that people interact and connect. 

And while its social implications are already well documented, its clout as a business and investment have largely gone unknown to the general public (although some very wealthy investors have gotten their hands on shares in the meantime).  The filing gave most observers their first real peek into the real business that is Facebook, revealing some interesting figures at the same time, which we break down here in our most recent infographic -- Facebook's Amazing IPO By The Numbers.

Fool contributors Dari Fitzgerald and Andrew Tonner hold no financial position in any of the companies mentioned in this article.  The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Apple, Amazon.com, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, eBay, Amazon.com, Baidu, Microsoft, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing puts in eBay. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2012, at 6:41 PM, turyt wrote:

    Unless you spent the better part of the last couple years under a rock, you probably know that Mark Zuckerburg [SIC] spells his name with an "e" not a "u".

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2012, at 7:11 PM, rodnog wrote:

    Mark Zeckerberg?

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2012, at 11:40 PM, foonchip wrote:

    <- Lives under a rock ... or just doesn't care. Someone who writes an article referencing him probably should though.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2012, at 12:16 AM, WeWereWallStreet wrote:

    Facebook is the avatar for what's wrong with American capitalism today.

    Bill Gates and his contemporaries giveth productivity to the masses -- a good thing for the US.

    Mark Zuckerberg, who by most accounts stole the idea from two Harvard classmates and, in his own IM words, effed them, taketh productivity away. Don't even get us started on your privacy.

    While the Chinese have sucked large swaths of our manufacturing economy out from under us and sell the products made there back to us, Facebook, our shining IPO of the future sells ... advertising.

    Good grief, as Charlie Brown would say.

    If we're not already there, we are on our way to becoming a laughingstock to much of the rest of the world. Zuckerberg's (I'm CEO, bitch!) letter, in which he says a goal for Facebook is to change the way the world is governed, is icing on the cake.

    Party on, though. Make Mark rich. He stole the idea fair and square from those hard-to-like silver-spoon Mesomorph Twins, so he deserves it. It's the way capitalism works, in America.

    http://www.WeWereWallStreet.com

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2012, at 12:59 AM, Merton123 wrote:

    Facebook helps people connect socially with each other. I wonder how many friends a person has in facebook will translate into a helping hand if a person needs to move? The P/E ratio of quoted in the above article for some of the companies gives me a nose bleed as a value investor :).

    I looking forward to the trend that people will return to the health clubs once they realize that spending several hours on the internet every day after work is not good for their health.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2012, at 4:57 AM, kahunacfa wrote:

    I detest Mark Zukerberg. His Harvard business ethics are non-existant. If I can get an allocation of shares from any of my brokers: Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Smith Barney, or Jeffries & Company, I will take them; likely to flip them soon after the HOT IPO.

    The firm's privacy policies are abominable, change at Zuckerberg's whim, get Boston Teachers fired <CNBC feature on Facebook>, ruin lives, and more.

    KahunaCFA

    Venture Capital

    Portfolio Manager

    le 04 fevrier 2012

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2012, at 11:44 AM, tbonci wrote:

    Facebook is hugely important to many of its users. It may hurt one's personal productivity at work, but it also increases quality of life for many people who use it to socialize.

    Small businesses also see a benefit from an easy and cheap way to spread word of mouth about a new company, product, or service.

    Holding a personal opinion of Zuckerberg or Facebook doesn't change the value that it holds to millions of users.

    One could easily make a case for probable price depreciation and wariness of the IPO based upon that, but heckling or rosy-eyed moralizing, while being personally cathartic, are less valuable to readers of this site.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2012, at 4:23 PM, CromulentBrad wrote:

    google moved beyond being just a search engine.

    apple evolved far beyond just selling pretty desk top computers.

    microsoft has grown into more than just an operating system.

    right now, facebook is just a place to see pics of your friends' kids & what they ate for dinner. until facebook can evolve into something more significant, i'll be staying far far away from its stock.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2012, at 4:26 PM, piggy60 wrote:

    You will see this "sucker" IPO take off for a day or two, then come crashing down to reality. IF you get in, get out by the next morning. This is not a long play unless you see yourself looking at 10 years, and that's assuming they are around by then. Anyone remember AOL? Does any even use AOL anymore? MZ is a dishonest individual, and that's why the day will come that all this falls apart. If I can buy shares early in the AM of the IPO at or very near the initial offering price, I will, but I assure you I will be out by 11AM the next day. This has all the markings of a one hit wonder. If you want value with Facebook, let the excitement wear off and the dust settle, and look at it 3 months out from the IPO ... It won't cost you as much to buy it. Also, look to see how many share MZ sells during, after the IPO frenzy.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2012, at 5:30 PM, unkownuser wrote:

    Its a shame the retail investor is not allowed to short IPO's. I expect this one to trade above the offering, then peak within a week or two, and then lose 10-30% within 3 months of the IPO. Until and unless it shows something substantive in its ability to increase revenue, it will languish there (after the 10-30% haircut) indefinitely. Definitely not the next Google, but maybe the next Enron.

  • Report this Comment On February 04, 2012, at 10:31 PM, mediamash wrote:

    Here is the challenge I see with Facebook. I need to know what % of total users are consumers and brands? Out of the total brands with pages on Facebook, what % are paid brands with paid pages? How much these advertisers spend and how happy they are with the results? What % of LIKES for a brand active users vs. those who clicked LIKE couple of years ago and never came back or barely come back. How happy advertisers are without any larger ad units, rich media etc. the ones they can get at Yahoo!? I see Facebook in the media mix, but not the only game in town. Let's also no forget that besides privacy problems, they never get 'bad press' while there are still many, many question around the site...I could say they got lucky or just the liberal left wing media not going up against "friends"? No FB stock for me.

  • Report this Comment On February 05, 2012, at 12:07 AM, marc5477 wrote:

    Insanity. Facebook, try as it might, will never convert viewers into paying customers at the rate of Google. A lot of their money comes from casual gaming which is not doing so well right now. On top of that, browser technology is making advertising almost impossible. I have not seen an add in my browser for months and those that get through are generally ignored. What happens when these ad-block programs start coming with browsers? I will still use google for other things but what value does facebook bring if there is no ads? Just games which are not owned by facebook so their moves are in their own interest not facebooks. This is a money pit for all investors. If it spikes then I will be looking to sell calls. I wish I could short it in the 1st week but that probably isnt possible.

  • Report this Comment On February 05, 2012, at 9:14 PM, mudslinger777 wrote:

    ...and the rich will be dragged out into the streets and hung!

  • Report this Comment On February 06, 2012, at 10:59 AM, Americanvoices wrote:

    Thanks you for all of your comments. It is easy to separate the fact-based comments from the emotion driven comments. At the same time the net feel for the comments serves to develop ones sense of risk.

  • Report this Comment On February 07, 2012, at 12:14 AM, lowmaple wrote:

    If people could short IPOs They would find a way to keep the price up

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2012, at 1:33 PM, Pscartelli wrote:

    As a facebook user,I see the tremendous value in social networking. However, as a 2% er ,I will probably not use it for e buying. Amazon will always be the place to purchase items, just ask Best Buy. God bless those investors who plan on putting their retirement funds in this stock, that's Apples game.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2012, at 12:01 PM, Figgie27 wrote:

    No one is forced to 'invest' in thes IPO's. It's a choice. If a person is willing to take the risk and make/lose, it's theirs to do so as they choose. I have been fortunate to make money so far on APPLE, using it as a vehincle to buy more dividend stocks to add to my portfolio. I will do the same with Facebook.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2012, at 4:19 PM, hershalsavage wrote:

    "...it also increases quality of life for many people who use it to socialize..."

    tobonci - That's your personal opinion and very debatable, like others have opinions about Suckerberg.

    As someone who works in IT, and deals with social media and how its REALLY being used in Businesses.. at the moment I think Jukebox71's point is most accurate..

    "..facebook is just a place to see pics of your friends' kids & what they ate for dinner. until facebook can evolve into something more significant, i'll be staying far far away from its stock.."

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2012, at 1:07 PM, bobbyk1 wrote:

    I dont think the stock will fall after IPO.Just the potential of ad revenue will keep it high.If I could get some I would probly dump the same day going with the adage you cant go broke taking a profit.

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