Report: May 18 Target Date For Facebook IPO

By Julie D. Andrews 

Mark your calendars, although in pencil, perhaps: After a flurry of rumors yesterday about Facebook’s impending initial public offering, if a report from The Wall Street Journal holds true, May 18, 2012, will go down in history books.

The Journal report follows yesterday’s report by CNBC’s Kate Kelly that Facebook’s road show to promote its IPO to investors would kick off as early as Monday.

Kelly reported on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” yesterday:

Facebook is logistically ready. They have the paperwork pretty much all in hand. The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is looking favorably on the documents they have filed, from my understanding.

There could always be a last-minute hitch, so we can’t say with absolute certainty, but it is looking very much like Monday is when Facebook will hit the road, and they will probably start with a meeting at Morgan Stanley, their lead underwriter, sometime around mid-morning or midday to introduce to that sales force their offering.

They will then fan out for about 10 days, and they could start trading as early as May 16 or 17.

Sources close to the Facebook IPO told the Journal May 18 is the target date, with final pricing to take place the day before, although they cautioned that various factors could still lead to a delay of one day or two.

When the long-awaited IPO finally does take place, Facebook’s stock will trade on the Nasdaq exchange, under the symbol “FB,” and the company is seeking to raise about $5 billion, which would value it at some $100 billion.

Facebook reported in an amendment to its S-1 filing last week that its net income fell 12 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the year-earlier period, to $205 million, while net income attributable to common shareholders slipped to $137 billion, and revenue rose 44.7 percent, to $1.058 billion from $731 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Facebook executives have not commented, citing the SEC-imposed quiet period leading up to the IPO.

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