That’s exactly what Albert Babayev over at Seeking Alpha has concluded, after developing a model based on the future projections of Facebook revenue, with him expecting Facebook Credits to eventually become an $8 billion a year business.
Given that many are calling Goldman Sachs’ investment in Facebook bubble-like, a $224 billion valuation in 2013 should equally draw some criticism. However, the model provided Babayev is somewhat reasonable as he expects the hype to die down to a level where stock price multiples are much closer to Google (currently a price-earnings ratio of 24), than an Open Table (currently a price-earnigs ratio of 159). If the projections are correct, the next few years will be explosive ones for Facebook, as revenues double year over year between now and into 2014.
This sort of revenue model would definitely justify Facebook’s outrageous stock price, and it is most definitely a “best case scenario.” Given that many signs are pointing to a 2012 Facebook initial public offering, we would expect that Mark Zuckerberg was properly briefed on the implications of the latest round of funding. As such, expect him to focus on continually improving his public presence throughout the year if he is actively preparing to be the chief executive officer of a public company. Many have been questioning whether or not Zuckerberg will hand over the reigns to another confidant, such as Sheryl Sandberg, as the company moves toward IPO. Given Zuckerberg’s past, that’s somewhat unlikely.
Instead, Facebook will March toward its eventual liquidity date, continuing to build buzz around growth, new product releases, and an ever expanding advertising base. If revenue growth can continue at this pace, it will be an exciting 2012 for Zuckerberg and company. While not officially stated anywhere, the projections produced by Babayev at Seeking Alpha are essentially what most Facebook investors are betting on. Now all Facebook needs to do is continue to live up to the massive hype now surrounding the company.