Friday, September 7, 2012

Facebook roundup

I published a post a couple of months ago about the high expectations around Facebook's stock trading price right around the time of its IPO. This week there have been a couple of interesting articles analyzing what happened then and since:

Andrew Ross Sorkin, in a NY Times column, blames David Ebersman, Facebook's CFO for "Facebook's catastrophe of an initial public offering." Sorkin goes on to say, about Ebersman:
 He signed off on the ever-increasing offer price, which ended up at $38 after the company had originally planned a price range of $28 to $35.
He — almost alone — pushed to flood the market with 25 percent more shares than originally planned in the final days before the offering. And since then, as the point person for investors, he has done little to articulate how or why the company’s strategy will lift the stock price any time soon.
It's pretty powerful. And yet.

Here, from Business Insider, is a view why what happened might have been not so bad, at least from Facebook's perspective. Facebook took advantage of demand - and as a result the company has a lot of cash available. And here is a column about how the employees feel about the drop in stock price: not so bad.

And finally, here is Henry Blodget arguing that the market got excited, but if investors had read Facebook's IPO prospectus or Zukerberg's letter to shareholders, they would have learned some useful information. For example
  • Facebook's CEO had a nearly unprecedented amount of control over the company.
  • Facebook's CEO had set up this astounding level of control intentionally.
  • Facebook's social mission is more important to Mark Zuckerberg than Facebook's business.
  • Facebook's business exists to support Facebook's product development, not the other way around.
There's more--it's worth reading the entire column. What do you think?

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