Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Facebook came, saw and conquered Wall Street

There has been a lot of talk about the declining stock price of Facebook since its IPO and much doom and gloom has been written about the company and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

Amid all this talk about disaster IPO, one tiny issue has been forgotten. It was a great IPO for Facebook!

If we go back to the initial causes of the Facebook IPO we may find some of the clues to why this IPO was not executed along the normal track as almost every other IPO.

One of the main reasons Facebook decided to do an IPO in the first place was due to arcane accounting rules which essentially forces companies of a certain size and composition to abide by the same stringent rules as public companies. That being the case, they might as well get paid to suffer the inconvenience. Another reason may have been to create an efficient aftermarket for employees and early investors.

What usually happens is that there is an unholy alliance between the underwriters of the IPO and company management to sell the offering below market price to spur interest in the stock and to transfer wealth to the underwriting banks and other early holders. Because the company management normally is made up of hired guns that have little stake in the companies they attempt to manage, they don't care. They extract their bonuses more or less no matter what happens.

Mr. Zuckerberg had a huge controlling stake in Facebook (and still does), and had no plans on selling out. He was thinking long-term gain and instead Facebook pitted banks against each other to get the best underwriting deal possible, deliberately set the offering price as high as possible, took the money and never looked back.

This was a business transaction like any other for Facebook and they had no plans on playing the corrupt Wall Street game. They are too busy doing actual work on their product.

I wouldn't be too surprised if Mr. Zuckerberg continues to tend to his company instead of attending earnings calls and other hand-holding exercises.

The product is king at Facebook. 

If you believe in the company and product, buy the stock, if not, don't.

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