Where are Facebook's friends? Stock down after IPO

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and other Facebook emplyees celebrate Facebook IPO Friday, May 18 at the company's Menlo Park headquarters. (Zef Nikolla)
May 21, 2012 5:57:24 PM PDT
Facebook's second day of trading didn't bring in a lot of big spending friends. The social networking site's stock dropped 11 percent Tuesday to close at $34.03 after opening the day at over $36 and falling quickly during the first 30 minutes of trading.

But the trading price is only half the story; technical errors by Nasdaq on Facebook's first day of trading are also gaining a lot of attention.

If Facebook's IPO can be accused of giving some people an investment hangover, Yogita Potluri is feeling a little woozy. She bought 1,000 shares of Facebook on Friday when the stock price was $40.

"A little disappointed, but I am hoping for the best," Potluri said.

Potluri is holding for the long term, but in addition to lackluster stock price, the big talk Monday was about Friday's fiasco on the Nasdaq. Trading on the Nasdaq was delayed for about 30 minutes Friday morning due to issues with traders' orders.

"Eighty-three million shares, I believe, traded in the first 30 seconds, and they just didn't process well," Raymond James Investments senior vice president of investments David Lucus said. "They got into one of those computer feedback loops where they didn't know where they were."

The CEO of the Nasdaq admits the technical problems were not exchange's finest hour. The Securities and Exchange Commission will investigate the snafu.

Investors who didn't get caught in the glitch or the buying frenzy are expressing relief.

"It wasn't a sure thing and I think people thought it was a sure thing because there was so much hype around it all but I certainly didn't buy any," Palo Alto resident Shelley Boutelle said.

Facebook faithful still believe the company will grow into its valuation. Shawn Carolan is a managing director at Menlo Ventures. He points to 900 million users and undeniable growth.

"The growth is excellent," Carolan said. "It's 50 percent year over year, in revenue, they did $1 billion in revenue first quarter, $200 million in earnings."

The stock could face more downward pressure in about six months, when Facebook employees can begin to sell their shares.

Nasdaq says Friday's glitches have nothing to do with current stock price.


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