I said over a year ago that Facebook would be the worst tech investment in history. It’s now being confirmed as the worst performing IPO on record. Shortly after launching, I said that it would drop to $17 within a year, over 50% below its opening price.
— JD Rucker (@0boy) June 5, 2012
Sadly, I may have been too optimistic.
Shares fell to a new low today after the initial lockout period for early employees ended:
Rules expired Thursday that had restricted some early investors from selling down their stakes after Facebook’s initial public offering. More than 271 million Facebook shares became eligible for sale Thursday, though holders could also choose to keep some, or all, of their stakes. Any additional shares would add to the 421 million already in circulation.
The worst part is that this is only the first round of lockout expirations. Nearly 2 billion more shares are coming available for sale in the coming weeks. One unnamed Facebook employee said that he was going to cash a good chunk of his out.
“I’ll sell about half a million worth and then keep the rest,” he said. “I believe in the company, but I’m not willing to risk it all. I’ll get some cash now and do what I can to make the value rise for the rest of my shares.”
With all of this coming in, Facebook needs to do something exciting soon. They have the cash but they have not made moves the way that many thought they would. Some (myself included) thought they were going to buy Bing. Rumors of phones, of Facebook TV, and of rekindling their relationship with Apple have all been floated but so far nothing substantial has happened.
It needs to. As of now they’ve taken the money and done little to improve the product with it. That’s not what Wall Street wants to see. If they don’t start playing ball soon, they may end up in single digits wishing to be on the right side of my earlier predictions.