Facebook (FB) Stock Jumps After CEO Pledges Not to Sell

by Darcie | Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012 | 3136 views

Shares of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) jumped in price after the company stated in an SEC filing that its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, had no intention of selling any of his stock in the company for at least a year. The share price increase more than offset losses of the previous day, when the stock hit a record low of $17.55 during the day.

Zuckerberg holds about 504 million shares, including options, and is eligible to begin selling them in November. The company presently has about 692 million shares eligible for sale in the public market, of which 421 million were sold in the IPO. Over a billion more (not including Mr. Zuckerberg’s shares) will become freely tradable between now and next May. The worry has been that prices would drop further if Zuckerberg flooded the market with his shares.

The stock is still trading at less than half of its $38 IPO price. Since the IPO, Facebook’s stock price has fallen on 46 trading days, gone up on 28 and remained unchanged on 2.

Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt, noting that Facebook’s mobile marketing revenue is just starting to grow, reduced his price target for the stock to $32 from $38.

Doug Anmuth, an analyst at JPMorgan, cut his target price from $45 to $30, but still rates FB as a Buy.

Though most people seem to now focus on Facebook’s negatives, especially over the short term, many are bullish over the longer term. The company has massive potential, but is still a risky bet given its unproven business model and rapid changes in the social media and e-commerce sectors.

As of mid-day today, FB was up 4.91% to $18.60 with a trading volume of 40.72 million shares. Its price range has $17.55-$45.00 since the IPO. The total market capitalization was under $40 billion.


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