How Facebook Could Trip Up Investors

As social-networking giant Facebook prepares to sell stock to the public for the first time, money managers are mobbing investor roadshows and deluging the deal’s underwriters with requests for as many shares as they can get their hands on.

Ordinary investors, however, would be better off waiting until some of the buzz dies down, experts say.

The initial public offering, expected on May 18, could value the company at anywhere from $77 billion to $96 billion based on its $28- to $35-a-share price range — making Facebook the biggest company to go public in U.S. history, according to Dealogic. Some analysts already have issued one-year price targets as high as $46 a share.

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