("AT A GLANCE: Facebook IPO Prices At $38/Share", published at 5:17 p.m. EDT, misstated the age of Mark Zuckerberg. The correct version follows.)
THE EVENT: Facebook Inc. (FB) set its final price at $38 a share, as the social network gets ready for its historic initial public offering Friday.
The social network priced at the top end of the range it set earlier this week. Facebook is valued at $104 billion, the biggest-ever valuation by a U.S. company at the time of its offering.
Nasdaq told traders Thursday that Facebook shares are expected to be released for trading at approximately 11 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) Friday. The IPO will be released for quotation at about 10:45 a.m. in the run-up to open trading. The exchange also said it will hold a market-wide conference call at 10:15 a.m. to keep the industry informed on the IPO. The call will last two hours.
Financial advisers at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney have been told their allocation of shares of Facebook for clients has been raised to a maximum of 5,000 per account, from roughly 500, according to people familiar with the situation.
Here's a look how much Chairman and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's 533.8 million shares are worth: $20.3 billion. "Zuck," as he's known to friends and family, launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room in 2004. The hoodie-wearing college dropout is now one of the richest people in the world. He will be celebrating his birthday in style--he turned 28 on May 14.
It is a testament to the stupendous wealth of megacap tech companies that Facebook joins the club as one of its poorer members. At the $38-a-share offer price, Facebook itself will raise nearly $7 billion. Add cash already on its balance sheet, and it begins life as a public company with about $11 billion total. About 60% of the cash raised in the social network's IPO is going straight to selling shareholders, not to the company.
Let's put Facebook's overall market value of $104 billion in perspective. Only 21 companies in the S&P 500 have higher market caps. Valuation puts Facebook behind Apple, Microsoft, Google and Intel, but above Amazon, Cisco Systems and Disney --each of which had 10 times more sales than Facebook in their most recent fiscal years. Looked at another way: Facebook is considered more valuable than the combined worth of eBay, Yahoo, Groupon, LinkedIn, Netflix, IAC/InterActiveCorp, AOL, Zynga and Pandora Media. You decide which you would rather own.
Market watchers are weighing in. Both retail and institutional investors will want to add to their positions in Facebook, which should drive demand for the stock once it begins trading, said Ben Holmes, president of IPO research firm Morningnotes.com. "It's like Visa. It's a widely held, superbly oversubscribed offering," said Holmes of the IPO. "But at the end of the day, there isn't enough stock to go around...this is going to be a really beautiful deal."
-By Linda Fung, Dow Jones Newswires, 212 416 2163, firstname.lastname@example.org.