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Your Take: Are You Buying the Facebook IPO?

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One of the most anticipated IPOs in a long time is about to drop today – Facebook. This post will be published around 7am and when the markets open at 9:30am, chances are the initial public offering for the largest social network kick off with a price between $28 and $35 (they raised it to $34-38 late Monday this week… before settling on $38). All in all, given how many shares will be made available, Facebook will raise around $13.6 billion and have a valuation less than the $100 billion many expected. Either way, IPOs were exciting during the dot com boom and they’re exciting again.

Will you buy any shares?

I won’t. When you buy into an IPO, you’re gambling. I’d rather lean over a craps table and foolishly put money on the pass line. At least I think I’m having fun while the dice are flying. I don’t want to gamble with shares of an IPO, in any industry, because it’s really a crap shoot. If you get shares before they trade publicly, you might have an edge. If you get shares after, you lose any edge you have. You are betting you can sell your shares to someone else who is willing to pay more. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.

If it trades at $35, that’s 70 times it’s projected 2012 earnings. Apple trades at a price to earnings ratio of 13.61. Google trades at 18.31. While they aren’t the same types of companies, in terms of growth prospects, do you think you can sell Facebook to someone at 90 times earnings? Think Facebook can find a way to increase profits? The answer might be yes but you have to recognize that you’re basically gambling.

That said, sometimes it’s fun to gamble. It’s fun to get caught up in the excitement… that’s why I put money on the pass line at a craps table. I know it’s entertainment.

{ 18 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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18 Responses to “Your Take: Are You Buying the Facebook IPO?”

  1. Cap says:

    While its hard to escape the “biggest tech IPO ever” from the news in recent days (especially if you routinely frequent certain type of news site), I have a feeling most regular Joes will carry on without much interest. Having said that, I’m sure plenty of people will still jump abroad as insiders dump their shares as the lockup periods ends. Lots of people getting rich off this deal, but I suspect it wont be the retail investors, heh.

  2. I am not. I can not get excited about the value. The company costs over $100 billion and profit is $1 billion a year. It is 1% a year on a very risky and highly competitive business.

    Facebook position seems to be quite week in the emerging markets – Chine, India and Russia. Those are dominated by local super stars.

  3. Martha says:

    Nope, I’ve heard way too much hype! Interestingly enough, Yahoo also was valued similarly in years past…

  4. eric says:

    I passed too! Surprised to see it trading over $42 this morning. Yikes!

  5. William says:

    I bought least 5 shares of FB. Just watch it in my IRA! I understand IPO gamble.
    I refuse to buy large shares of FB.
    Well, It still climb up. If it went down, I will sell it.

  6. Lou says:

    We werebin school when the original dot com bubble burst. Im skeptical of investing in anything like this that doesn’t live up to its projected value.

  7. Paul Knudsen says:

    Have two brokers. One won’t handle the small investor IPO at all, the other wants a $25,000 balance!

  8. sheri says:

    Many are bored with FB already…. I think the thrill is gone.

  9. Shirley says:

    I am not at all interested in buying into FB but I think the results of all this will be very interesting to watch.

  10. Shorebreak says:

    The underwriters for the FB IPO had to jump in with a massive buying of shares to keep the stock from dropping below $38. They did their jobs for Zucker, et al, but that should tell you something.

  11. i didn’t buy any, and it flopped on its first day,

  12. Mike says:

    I’ve never been into Facebook, so no.

  13. I wasn’t going to buy and I didn’t. It’s a shame the initial offering didn’t go off smoother though.

  14. Wilma says:

    Not seeing any value in Facebook. They produce nothing. They replaced MySpace and I’m sure some other site will replace them. Don’t plan on investing in any of their stock.

  15. Carl Lassegue says:

    I’m happy I did not put money in this stock on Friday. It’s only monday and the stock has already lost 11% of its opening day trading value. It’s probably going to increase in the future but probably not as much as a lot of people thought it would.

    • Jim says:

      It’s tricky, the handling of the IPO was pretty bad and a lot of people were left with a sour taste in their mouth.

  16. Yichuan says:

    I bought 100 shares in my virtual trade account. Just for fun. Then today, I sold it. I can’t bare to see it dropping even in my virtual trade account.

  17. Seth says:

    If they can re-engineer their ad format or develop some other major form of producing profit they might be able to stick around. Right now, their ads are just really poorly designed and when more companies realize that, they will probably pull those ads resulting in more loss for the company.

    I think it has a lot of potential, but as we are seeing from the stock price drop, it is way overpriced right now.


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