Remember the Facebook IPO last spring?
Remember how the Facebook IPO was perceived as such a sure thing that salivating investors were elbowing each other out of the way?
Remember how Facebook IPO buyers were so giddy, and so sure that they had found a ticket to instant riches, that they paid too much for the stock–causing it to crash immediately after the IPO?
Remember how practically every pundit on earth described this as a catastrophe, as a complete and utter disaster for Facebook, whose brand would now be permanently ruined and whose stock price would be forever punished by Wall Street investors who would never forget how badly they had been burned?
So do we.
And, yet, only a year later, no one cares.
Facebook has just done exactly what it said it would do: Focus on growing the business, invest for the long-term, and ignore whiny short-term Wall Street traders.
And now Facebook’s stock has blasted above the IPO price and even above $US40, to within a hair’s breath of an all-time high. And Facebook investors, as opposed to the whiny Facebook stock-flippers, have done fine, especially if they took the opportunity to double-down on their investment at a much lower price.
So next time someone howls that allowing investors to lose money on your IPO is a catastrophic mistake that no competent company would ever make because it would destroy the company’s credibility with Wall Street forever, see this for what it is:
The whining of short-term speculators who are happy to take credit for every stock they buy that goes up, but need to blame any and all losses on someone else.
These folks can yell more loudly and more persuasively than anyone.
But when they voluntarily pay $US38 a share for your stock only to find out that everyone else was not, in fact, stupid enough to pay even more, well then, that’s their problem.
If that happens to you, just do what Facebook did: Ignore their screams and threats and focus on your customers and business. And be confident that, if you attend to the needs of the latter, the stock price will take care of itself.
(This isn’t to say that Facebook’s stock is a smart buy here. I personally think it’s expensive. I think the mobile revenue surge that triggered the recent moonshot will decelerate as the the product matures and the stock multiple will likely then compress again. This is merely to say that the wailing and moaning and vitriol that following the “disastrous” IPO were much ado about nothing.)