The Facebook IPO Fiasco

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: The Nasdaq board in Tim...
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: The Nasdaq board in Times Square advertises Facebook which is set to debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market today on May 18, 2012 in New York, United States. The social network site is set to begin trading at roughly 11:00 a.m. ET and on Thursday priced 421 million shares at $38 each. Facebook, a Menlo Park, California based company, will have a valuation exceeding $100 billion. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
To start at $38 and end up at $27 is a fiasco to the tune of about 40 billion dollars. To climb back up to $32 is good news. Maybe Facebook is not all hat no cattle. Maybe something is going on. I was not aware of the Nasdaq technical glitch of day one. I was thinking that one, America is nowhere close to going back to a 5% unemployment rate, the structural damages done to the economy have not been fixed yet, and two, the market does not think of dot coms as darlings that deserve P/Es of 100. It wants P/Es that are more like 20 or 50.

But then LinkedIn kept defying gravity at P/Es in the 900 range. Facebook hammered Zynga and other sexies like GroupOn but not LinkedIn. What gives? LinkedIn earnings have doubled every quarter since it went IPO. But is that sustainable? For how long? You can watch me move at two miles per hour. Then I can do four miles per hour. But how far can you extrapolate that?

Before the Facebook IPO I said the company will hit $200 billion in market cap in less than five years. A week after the IPO I said it might go in the $20-25 range before starting a slow climb up. I am glad it did not hit 25.

Even Paul Graham was saying the time for lofty valuations for tech startups was over. The Facebook fiasco was reflecting upon the entire industry. Good thing the blip lasted only a few weeks. I am standing by my $200 billion statement.

Funny, Pinterest is going into ecommerce before Facebook is. Facebook is very well positioned to do payments. It could give serious competition to PayPal. What will it acquire next? Dwolla?
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