Maybe Mark Zuckerberg should have worn a tie at the roadshow lunch, after all.
Facebook’s IPO is meeting with weaker-than-expected demand from institutional investors, Bloomberg’s Serena Saitto, Jeffrey McCracken, and Zijing Wu report.
Apparently investors are nervous about the company’s decelerating growth, especially relative to the company’s user growth (as they should be).
The company is also said to have told investors that it won’t meet their most optimistic projections.
That last report–the warning that Facebook won’t meet the most optimistic projections–is bizarre. It’s hard to believe Facebook is reviewing and reacting to specific projections on the roadshow. And if it is, it should certainly disclose this to the public. What projections is Facebook saying it won’t meet? How could that not be something a reasonable investor would want to know?
Now, it’s still early in the roadshow, and big investors love to feed negative comments like this to the press in the hopes of reducing demand for a stock and thus driving the price down. Only the underwriters will know for sure how strong the demand is. And for an offering like this, lots of the orders won’t come in until the last couple of days.
So take this report with a grain of salt.
But Facebook does have a lot of stock to move–$10+ billion, most likely–and if demand is weak, it may well have to take a lot less for it than many people expected.
(And if that’s what happens, this would be a sign of startling and encouraging sobriety on the market’s part. Facebook’s recent numbers just aren’t that impressive.)
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