Thursday, May 24, 2012

Facebook IPO drama continues: WSJ names two big investors that received late disclosures

If you are wondering who among Facebook's big investors was privy to the information that was withheld from the 99 percent - that the analysts of the underwriters of the IPO had lowered their business estimates going forward - the Wall Street Journal has an answer for you, or two, rather.

Capital Research Management slashed the number of shares it intended to buy after receiving information at a May 11 "roadshow" meeting with underwriters and Facebook, though also armed with similar estimates of its own. In addition, the night before Facebook stock trading began, a Capital Research manager told a banker at Morgan Stanley that the IPO's pricing was "ridiculous."

Fidelity Investments, and we're sure you've heard of them, was another to hear warnings from analysts and bank sales staff of a waekening Facebook business picture for Q2. The anonymous sources that divulged the information added that Fidelity expressed frustration to chief underwriter Morgan Stanley about Facebook valuations based on the information.

This news comes just a day after news of at least two lawsuits that have been filed against Facebook and its underwriters over the IPO.

It is unclear which other investor - if any - the information was divulged to.

There has also been some suggestion that the NASDAQ SNAFUs contributed, at least somewhat, to the stock's poor performance thus far. That may be the reason that there has been speculation - and even discussion, it has been reported - of Facebook moving its stock away from the tech-heavy NASDAQ, where it seems at home, to the more big (translation, older, more staid) company stock exchange known as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

In terms of those discussions of moving to the NYSE, Facebook and NASDAQ have not commented. The NYSE said there have been no such discussions.

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