The Two-Way
9:26 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Facebook's Stock: What Should It Cost?

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 2:08 pm

As the downward pressure continues on the price of Facebook's newly issued shares, let's see what our collective financial wisdom tells us.

The initial public offering was priced at $38 a share. After technical snafus on Friday, and only thanks to lots of help from Facebook's bankers, that's about where the stock settled its first day.

Monday, it closed down 11 percent, at $34.03.

This morning, it was mostly trading between $31.50 and $33.50. This afternoon, with about an hour to go in the trading day, the stock was at $31.50. At the close, it was at $31.12 — down almost 9 percent from Monday.

As Business Insider has pointed out, at $38 Facebook's shares were priced "at about 65 times consensus 2013 estimated earnings per share" for the social media giant. Compare that to Apple's stock, which trades at about 10 times projected earnings per share.

So, the question is:

Meanwhile, Nasdaq has conceded that it made mistakes on Friday when Facebook shares hit the market and that many would-be investors got burned when they couldn't buy or sell the stock at the prices they wanted. The exchange "on Monday tapped the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to sort through requests from brokers seeking for the exchange to make up losses taken on Facebook trades, a process that could take weeks," Dow Jones Newswires writes.

(Reminder: Our questions are questions, not surveys of public opinion.)
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