As Investors Unload Facebook Shares, Stock Tumbles Below $20

By Justin Lafferty 

Thursday was the first day that major investors in Facebook could sell their shares — and one company did just that. Accel Partners, one of the earliest investors in the social network, reportedly sold 50 million shares of Facebook (total worth: roughly $1 billion). Others could follow suit soon. Facebook’s stock, which closed Wednesday at $21.20 per share, fell to $19.87 when the closing bell rang Thursday.

Several outlets reported Thursday that Accel was the first major investor to cut ties with its stock — representing 50 million of the 271 million shares that were available to sell Thursday. Filings show that Accel owned more than 144 million shares of Facebook when the company went public.

The next big date for investors is Oct. 15, when Facebook directors and employees other than Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg can sell their stock. It was previously reported that Director Peter Thiel converted his shares from class-B to class-A in order to make them easier to sell. On Nov. 14, Zuckerberg, as well as more venture capitalists and insiders, will be able to sell.

Newsday notes that information about more investors who dropped Facebook stock probably won’t be made public until next week.

Zuckerberg, who has more than 503 million shares of his company, took another major financial hit with Thursday’s news and stock drop. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Zuckerberg’s worth fell by $600 million Thursday. That’s nearly the entire nominal gross domestic product of Comoros, a small African island nation with roughly 798,000 people. Don’t feel too bad for Zuck, though, as he is still worth $10.2 billion.

Readers: If you were a major investor in Facebook, would you sell now or wait it out?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.