Reaction To Facebook's $5 Billion IPO Filing
In one of the most widely anticipated IPOs of all time, Facebook filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesdsay afternoon to raise at least $5 billion in an initial public offering of stock.
"There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future," said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a letter that accompanied the filing. "The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on.
Started less than a decade ago, Facebook now has more than 800 million monthly active users worldwide. And the company last year earned $1 billion on sales of $3.7 billion. Not too shabby for the social networking site that Zuckerberg began in 2004 when he was still a student at Harvard University.
"It is a major sign of maturation" former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, who was the president of Harvard when Zuckerberg began Facebook, said of the public offering. "It means more cash flow, it means even more visibility, it means even more responsibility to shareholders, but also to the broader society. It is both a recognition of what has been accomplished, and it points to the fact that Mark Zuckerberg has done a remarkable thing in building a global institution in a very short time."
The stock could be available as early as this spring. The Washington Post reported: "If its initial public offering of stock makes enough friends on Wall Street, Facebook will probably make its stock-market debut in three or four months as one of the world’s most valuable companies. Facebook, which is now based in Menlo Park, Calif., hopes to list its shares under the ticker symbol, 'FB,' on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market."
The Twittersphere was all abuzz with the news of the multi-billion dollar filing Wednesday afternoon. Here is a sampling of reaction: