It’s the capital markets event of the year.
But anyone wanting to buy stock in Facebook’s imminent initial public offering needs unwavering faith in the vision of Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s founder.There’s no doubt that Facebook, like Google before it, is breaking new ground with a potentially hugely influential use of the increasing interconnectedness of the world.
And an IPO that values Facebook at anything near $100 billion – raising more than $10 billion from the sale of new and existing shares – would be notable beyond the pleasing roundness of the numbers.
But there are at least two key articles of faith needed to get there. First is confidence in Zuckerberg’s capacity to keep adding to Facebook’s nearly 1 billion users. Second, and probably more important, is belief in his ability to turn each of those likers, commenters and posters into more and more cash over time.
The scale of the task is clear. Based on the first quarter, Facebook’s revenue per monthly user is on pace to be less than $5 this year, with the net income per user running at a fraction of that. Yet at a $100 billion valuation for the company, the flow of profit needs to be worth the equivalent of $110 or more for each of today’s users.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page