As predicted, the banks could only prop up Facebook's stock price for so long. It was obvious greedy investors overvalued Facebook's share price and overall valuation. Banks could only prop up the stock for one day, pouring $11B into trying to keep its price up on Friday, the day of the IPO offering.
Now they have to let the invisible hand take over - and it's squashing FB.
NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Facebook Inc. (FB) shares fell below its initial public offering price of $38 Monday, on just its second day of trading, a black eye for all those involved with the social networking company going public.The saving grace may be that Eduardo Saverin has to pay exit fee (skipping out on US citizenship) on the overvalued stock price.
Facebook shares recently traded at $36.46, down 4.6%. A move below $36.50 takes Facebook's overall valuation under $100 billion.
The premarket decline in Facebook shares sets the stage for the stock to close below the $38 level that shares were priced late Thursday. It is usually considered disappointing for a new stock to fall below its offer price so quickly, especially in the case of the most heavily traded IPO of all time.
While investor enthusiasm was high for Facebook shares, leading bankers on the deal to increase the stock price and number of shares ahead of the offering, many observers questioned the more than $100 billion valuation being placed on the social network, where revenue and earnings growth were already beginning to slow.
"Facebook's IPO priced at a level well-above where we foresaw compelling 12-month returns," BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said in a research note Monday. With revenue and earnings growth decelerating in 2012, "we find Facebook's current valuation unappealing."
On Friday, Facebook's shares repeatedly tested the $38 level, but lead underwriter Morgan Stanley (MS) reportedly moved to prop up Facebook's stock Friday. Dave Lutz, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus, said Facebook's underwriters might stop supporting the stock's price to thwart short-term traders counting on the underwriters buying at $38.
"We think this could just be a technique of Morgan Stanley trying to shake out some of the weaker hands," Lutz said. "What a lot of people will do [when the underwriters continue to step in] is say, 'If the underwriter's not going to let it break through, I'll just sit there and day trade right in front of it.'"
"In theory, [letting the price fall below $38] is a smart idea as long as there's not broader institutional selling," Lutz said. "Where Facebook closes today is going to be very important."
"The underwriters completely screwed this up," said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities. "This thing should have been half as big as it was, and it would have closed at $45.