Facebook Riches: Stock sells high

Stephanie Laumer

The most popular social networking site has cashed in on its success. On Wednesday, Facebook filed for an initial stock offering to sell $5 billion in stock according to the New York Times.

The offering values the whole company at $75 billion. That’s a lot of zeros.

The projected value of Facebook is the largest ever for an Internet company–way more than Google’s offering in 2004.

“Facebook will return insane amounts of money to the early stakeholders,” said Alex Gould, a technology investor and instructor at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, who has been studying venture returns for several years.

Basically, Facebook is hot commodity right now.  It is more valuable than the gross domestic product of Qatar, the cost of the Olympics and the global coffee industry reported Mashable

Here are some statistics from the initial stock offering from Facebook (courtesy of the New York Times):

Facebook reports that just over half of its ’45 million monthly active users log on every day.

Facebook reported $3.71 billion in revenues in 2011, up fivefold from 2009. Net income was reported at $1 billion. The majority of revenue came from advertising, but its reliance on ads has decreased in the last three years.

In December 2011, an advertiser could reach an estimated $65 million people in the United States said Facebook. Compare this to an audience of $29 million people who watched the season finale of “American Idol” in 2011.

The people profiting from this include the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who has $533.8 million shares worth $28.4 billion based on the company valuation of $100 billion, or $53 a share.

Zuckerberg’s father, a New York dentist, was given two million shares of stock for his help in starting the company. The company’s estranged co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, who provided some of the initial financing and later sued the company for cutting his stake, managed to retain 5 percent of the company in a settlement.

Several other companies have tried to create social networking sites, like Google+, but none have come close to the success of Facebook thus far. In a world where many companies are struggling to retain profit, Facebook is staying on top.