Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Facebook files S-1 with SEC, valuation still unknown

As expected, but far later in the day that most thought, Facebook filed its S-1 paperwork on Wednesday afternoon (PST). The filing sets the stage for the social networking giant to raise $5 billion in an IPO. 234x60 banner, image is updated by season.
Pretty much all the information about the filing had already been leaked.  For example, Morgan Stanley was listed as the lead underwriter, but J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs were also listed on the prospectus.

With the S-1 filing, the company detailed its finances for the first time. According to the documents, Facebook first became profitable in 2009, five years after it launched. That year, Facebook earned $229 million on sales of $777 million. In 2010, Facebook had net income of $606 million on revenue of $1.97 billion.

That rose still further: in 2011, Facebook earned $1 billion on sales of $3.7 billion. As of December 31, 2011, Facebook had 845 million daily active users.

Of that $3.7 billion in revenue, advertising accounted for 85 percent, or nearly $3.2 billion. The remainder, $557 million, was accounted for by in-app purchases within apps and games (Facebook Credits), of which Facebook keeps 30 percent (the developer keeps the remainder).

Other choice tidbits of information: its billionaire founder and chairman Mark Zuckerberg, 27, made $1.5 million in compensation last year, including more than $700,000 in salary and bonus, but his $500,000 in base salary will go to a nominal $1 a year at his request, effective in 2013, Facebook said in the filing.

Meanwhile, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg received over $30 million in compensation, nearly all of it in stock, according to estimates provided in the filing. Zuckerberg did not receive additional stock grants last year in 2011.

In this initial set of paperwork, companies do not list the number of shares they plan to sell or the price they want. With that, there's still no valuation for the company, aside from speculation. However, most analysts estimate Facebook's valuation will fall somewhere between $85 billion to $100 billion.

Although Facebook did not announce which stock exchange it would be listed on (NASDAQ or NYSE), it said it will apply to have its shares listed with the symbol "FB." In the past, that would have pointed to the NYSE, but it's know the NASDAQ wants Facebook, and the NASDAQ is generally known as the stock exchange for younger tech companies.

In addition, CA, Inc., which trades under the symbol CA, moved from the NYSE to the NASDAQ in April 2008 and kept its two-letter symbol, under new (at the time) SEC rules.

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