John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

The Price Is Right: Facebook Closes Near Opening Price

After the weeks of private equity dealmaker palm rubbing and investor anticipation that preceded it, Facebook’s IPO on Friday was something of an anticlimax. Shares in the newly public company rose to $45 before closing at $38.23. Moments before first-day trading ended, shares were changing hands at $38.00 — their opening price.

Not nearly the blowout that some had been predicting. More of a slowpoke than a superpoke.

“Clearly some of the more ahead-of-themselves valuations didn’t stand up all that well to the IPO stress test,” Max Wolff, an analyst at Greencrest Capital Management, told AllThingsD.

That said, quite a few millionaires were minted today. Some obvious billionaires as well. That very slight uptick gives Facebook a market value of about $104 billion.

“The company was clearly underwhelming in its debut, but nonetheless claimed a rich valuation,” Wolff said. “That’s a testament to the Facebook story, and the number of people who want to own its shares.”

Stern Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said he was surprised that Facebook didn’t get quite the pop investors seemed to be expecting.

“It was certainly a surprise,” Bhatia told AllThingsD. “At the same time, I’m a bit relieved that investors didn’t get carried away and are behaving rationally. The underwriters priced the stock well.”

So what can we expect on Monday for the stock’s second day on the market?

Said Bhatia, “I expect to be flattish in the near term.”

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”