IPO? What IPO? Here's a Liveblog of Everything You Need to Know About Facebook Today

By Erin Griffith , written on May 18, 2012

From The News Desk

Rather than bombard you with 2478325 stories on the day's developments, we'll be compiling all the news, analysis and hair-on-fire insanity lukewarm reception of Facebook's Big Day right here. (You've already read the book, right?) Check back for updates.

The latest (see below for coverage of the morning):
  • We'll see you here at 9:30am Monday morning, where we'll do it all again, every day, for the rest of Facebook's existence as a public company.
  • 4:00 And, we're done! Facebook has closed its first day of trading at just about where it priced: $38.23 per share. In what some are calling a "war of 38," Facebook's bankers spent much of the afternoon buying up Facebook to keep shares at $38 or above. Felix Salmon theorized that, had Facebook's bankers not done this, the stock would have dipped and then surged higher later in the day. More than 500 million shares changed hands to land at the same price, and now a huge chunk of Facebook shares are in Morgan Stanley's hands. Quip away, commentators, because this one is ripe for the picking.
  • 3:55: We're coming up on the close of the market. Important thing to remember for Monday morning: After today, Facebook's underwriters may not be as willing to prop up the stock at $38 per share to keep it from trading under its IPO price.   
  • 3:44: Damn: Zynga's stock has hit a new low today, down almost 16% to under $7 a share.
  • 3:33: Bloomberg claims Facebook's trading volume shouldn't have been a problem for Nasdaq, but in all fairness, it did experience the highest volume of any U.S. stock on a first day of trading. Breaking records.  
  • 3:30: Facebook has only traded around 350 million shares all day long (which Bloomberg reports is nothing compared to end of day trading on stocks like Citi some days), but some traders were not able to get confirmations for trades for hours. This has certainly played into the barely moving stock price and is drawing comparisons to Nasdaq's disastrous BATS IPO. Nasdaq sought to avoid exactly that earlier this week with extensive, and apparently, useless testing.
  • 3:15: Three hours into Facebook's life as a public company and it's analysis time! Here's what we've got:
Business Insider succinctly breaks down the fizzle in a few key points. Nasdaq messed up. Then, there was simply enough supply for the demand. Then, Facebook's underwriters deployed shares to keep the stock from slipping below its IPO price. Done.
Excitement over Facebook's IPO may have lifted stock futures this morning, but on average, the IPO has not affected indexes. They're on track to have one of their worst weeks of the year.
Facebook has already earned a "sell" rating from one analyst. How quickly the tides turn.
  • 2:21: It's official: Facebook the public company is a dud. Haters abound.
  • 1:48: The always-entertaining NMA has chronicled Facebook's week with a new animated video.
  • 1:09: A significant amount of the 65 million "greenshoe" shares that underwriters have given themselves to support to the stock if necessary have already been used to keep Facebook above $38 a share, Bloomberg reports. Here's what volume looks like:
  • 1:00: As indicated by raging traders on Stocktwits, there's a giant technical log jam thanks to Nasdaq. Traders aren't getting confirmation that they're trades are cleared, which hasn't helped Facebook's share price.
  • 12:46: Even though Facebook's weak debut hurt the stocks of other social media companies like Zynga, LinkedIn, Yelp and Groupon, shares of archrival Google have been trading up since just after Facebook went public.
  • 12:41: Facebook's underwriters have stepped in to stop the stock from going below $38 a share with a "perma-bid," WSJ reports.
  • 12:39:  The Nasdaq guy also gave Zuckerberg a Nasdaq hoodie. Zuckerberg gave a little speech about his mission to change the world. Yeah, yeah we know. "Our mission is not to be a public company," he declared.
  • 12:38: Ha: Nasdaq presented Zuckerberg with a Nasdaq Crystal, which it apparently gives to every company ringing the bell, to which Zuckerberg said, "Awesome."
  • 12:17: Interesting analysis of the backlash we can now expect: On Bloomberg TV, Paul Kedrosky predicts that today's lukewarm debut will lead many of Facebook's analysts to downgrade FB from "Buy" to "Neutral." On Twitter, Air America's Heidi Moore notes that any IPO with respectable demand should garner a 10% pop. Anything less indicates "company greed" in its pricing. My question: How much of this can we blame on the Nasdaq delay? Nicholas Carlson seems to think "all of it."
  • 12:14: Rebound time! We're back up to $40 per share. Don't worry, I'm not going to do this all day. As Jason Kincaid tweeted, "Real-time financial analysis boils down to "Oooooh the number got smaller, but now it's getting a bit bigger! What's next!?"
  • 12:10: So where are those $75 trades from Germany now?
  • 12:03: Facebook's IPO is now being called "disappointing," blamed for drops in pretty much all other markets.
  • 11:49: We've hit the IPO price of $38.
  • 11:48: Zynga is down more than 13%--is it because traders are selling Zynga to buy Facebook?
  • Second favorite talking point: This stock isn't popping because it was priced perfectly.
  • Favorite data point of tweeters and commentators: Bono's firm Elevation Partners will make more today on Facebook than he has made as one of the world's top musicians.
  • Facebook's lack of a massive LinkedIn-style pop has negatively affected Groupon, Zynga and LinkedIn's share prices.
  • Trading has dropped to around $40, which is modest 5 percent to 6 percent gain from its $38 debut price.
  • 11:30:31: Within the first 30 seconds, 82 million shares changed hands.
  • 11:30: FINALLY! Facebook opened trading at $42.05 per share.
  • The delay is making for some very awkward live television commentary.
  • The kickoff is turning disastrous. Seventeen minutes late, Nasdaq announces it's "experiencing a delay" as the troops (both traders and market observers) become restless.
  • Facebook will open at $42 per share trading 65 million shares, WSJ reports
  • 11:00: Nasdaq issued a five minute delay, and then an additional 10 minute delay on Facebook's 11am Eastern start time.
Here's what happened earlier today, from Facebook's all-night pre-IPO Hackathon to the official ringing of the opening bell:

  • The troops gathered at Facebook's Menlo Park Office last night for a Hackathon. They're still up.
  • Zuckerberg will remotely ring Nasdaq's opening bell the Facebook office at 9:15 Eastern.
  • Facebook will start trading at 11am Eastern.
  • Excitement over FB has markets has futures trading up this morning.
  • Sadly there's nothing to indicate the IPO to Facebook's billion users via its home page. Not that you could go anywhere else online without encountering !!!FACEBOOK IPO!!!
  • If any non-Facebook company has bad news to report, today is that day. No one--no one--will be paying attention.
  • What can possibly be said today that hasn't already been said? How about a Zuckerberg-Murdoch comparison?
  • Well said, Mike Isaac: "Today is about the money. And yet it is also more than just sitting and watching the ticker tape roll by."
  • Check out the opening bell ringing at 9:15 9:30 Eastern right here.
  • So should you buy Facebook? Buzzfeed's Jonah Peretti interviewed himself on whether you should and decided that, "yes," you should. Chris Dixon read PandoDaily's eBook about Facebook and concluded, "You probably shouldn't be buying any tech stocks." My answer to the question Should you buy Facebook? "It's complicated."
  • Zuckerberg's Facebook page looks like a wedding or high school graduation tribute with some "I remember when I first met Zuck..." posts.
  • Aw, Eduardo Saverin congratulated Zuck over Facebook. And spelled his name wrong. (h/t Robin Wauters)  Since PandoDaily's Farhad Manjoo criticized Saverin last weekend, the black sheep of the Facebook family has been on a PR mission to rehabilitate his image.
  • SecondMarket has compiled some stats on Facebook's historical pricing on its exchange.
  • Surprise, some VC's are sold on Facebook. Here's David Pakman of Venrock: "Yes, there are threats to their business, but... they are not yet being left behind."
  • 9:27: And we're off! The bell:
  • Zuckerberg rang the bell with a giant grin. Sheryl Sandberg distributed high fives.
  • Zuckerberg signed an electronic tablet with "To a more open and connected world. MZ."
  • Rewatch it here.
  • Remember, Facebook isn't trading yet. That starts at 11am Eastern. Bookmark it now.
  • No matter how much money they make during the company's IPO, Facebook's behoodied employees won't be rolling up to the offices in a Lamborghini. According to NYT: “It’s almost an unspoken rule: spend your money, but do it privately." This attitude is prevalent in the Valley, where wealthy investors and founders alike squirm in their seats when it comes to discussing their personal wealth.
  • Annnnnd let the insanity begin. If true, this headline is actually worthy of the "HOLY CRAP" treatment Business Insider gives all of its stories: According to Bloomberg, bids are coming in from Germany at $75 a share. To refresh: Facebook is going public at $38. HOLY CRAP indeed. More inklings of insanity: Zero Hedge tweets that pre-market offers are hitting €80, with an implied market cap of nearly $300 billion. Update: Bloomberg confirms Facebook is trading at $70 per share in Germany.
  • Head of product Chris Cox has the best "IPO face." (h/t Peter Kafka)
  • Here come the hangers on. Facebook has been no stranger to lawsuits leading up to its IPO but on its big day? Harsh. Some law firms have decided to sue the company for user tracking and privacy concerns in a suit worth $15 billion, or $10,000 per user, according to Bloomberg. As Drew Olanoff tweeted, "Every time a bell rings, a lawsuit gets its wings."
  • CNBC is reporting that retail demand for FB is the highest ever for an IPO. Up to 25% of the IPO's shares are expected to be bought by retail investors. Here's the learning process "normal person," aka a retail investor, goes through when trying to buy one share of Facebook.
  • Wall Street is "bracing itself" for how high this thing could go.
  • This is cool: Facebook's engineers hacked the NASDAQ button so that the minute Zuckerberg pushed it, he'd post a status update to his Facebook profile.
  • As is required for all publicly traded companies, Facebook now has an Investor Relations page.
  • So what did Facebook's hackers make at its pre-IPO hackathon? Lunch Roulette, an app that invites random coworkers to lunch.
  • is a site for predicting, well, you know.
  • Only General Motors and Visa have had larger IPO's than Facebook. Regardless of your thoughts on the melee that is happening today, it is, as the third largest IPO ever in the U.S., historic.
  • Earlier this week, GM threw cold water on the Facebook frenzy by pulling $10 million worth of its advertising business from the site, which rose major questions about Facebook's business model. Today Ad Age has cleverly compiled some of GM's lamest status updates to show why the auto maker had little success advertising on the platform. "Why is GM failing on Facebook?" B.L. Ochman writes. "It's obvious from the content the company posts there."