Facebook IPO Planned for May 18th – Get Out the Checkbook

Arguably the biggest IPO in recent or distant memory looks like it’s going to go down this month. Facebook is on track to go public on May 18th. Interested? Get out your wallet and gird yourself – it’s not going to be cheap.

The Facebook investment roadshow will kick off soon, as Facebook outlines its business plan to potential (read: almost certain) investors. Despite initial reports that Zuckerberg was too cool for the investor roadshow, the most recent reports are saying that the Facebook CEO will indeed be present and have some role in the presentations.

The roadshow won’t be all sunshine and rainbows for Facebook, though. Questions about rising costs and the efficacy of Facebook’s advertising business linger, and Zuckerberg and Co. will be expected to demonstrate that Facebook has strong long-term growth prospects in addition to the strength the company has now.

The estimated value of Facebook when it goes public is between $75 billion and $100 billion, which is…a lot. That’s a lot of money. I’m not sure how else to put that. Facebook is aiming to raise an additional $5 billion through the IPO, which would make it the biggest Internet IPO in history.

Early projections are putting the IPO share price at about $45, which actually isn’t too bad – but, you’ll probably want to get in on that price fast. Chances are, if there’s as much interest as Facebook seems to think there will be, that price will be headed northward very quickly. How long will it stay northward bound? Hard to say – Facebook is a worldwide juggernaut, the likes of which we’ve rarely seen before, with a global market still being a relatively new phenomenon. The fact that Facebook seems to now have its tendrils protruding into just about the entire Internet (the ever-present Like button) suggests that it’s not going anywhere, but that doesn’t necessarily mean success on the market. The market is all about growth, and growth will be every bit a challenge for Facebook as it would be for any company. We’ll see if Facebook can rise to that challenge in the years to come.



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