Facebook will likely push back any consideration of an IPO to 2012 to allow more time for growth, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Investors had been speculating that Facebook would begin public trading some time in 2011. Offering common stock for sale to the public is a common way for young companies to generate capital quickly.
The additional time would allow the social network to gain more users and increase sales without having to worry about public examination of its earnings and operations, according to anonymous sources cited by the news organization.
Facebook has been keeping quiet about it’s IPO plans. In a television interview, spokesman Jonathan Thaw simply said that an IPO would happen “when it makes sense.”
Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg still has the controlling stake in Facebook, so any decision on whether or not to have an IPO ultimately relies on him.
Facebook hit 500 million users this month, and was last valued at $24.9 billion by SharesPost, a marketplace for trading privately held shares. Bloomberg’s sources said that Facebook could see its 2010 income double to at least $1.4 billion from about $700 million a year ago.
Zuckerberg has previously stated that his company should have an executive that’s focused more on delivering a quality product, rather than public shareholders, according to AllFacebook.
Facebook has repeatedly come under fire for privacy-related issues, and adding additional scrutiny from analysts and public markets would increase the pressure on the company’s management.