Facebook’s stock slips below $19

A week ago we were watching to see if Facebook’s stock would sink to $19, or half of its IPO price. Today it has slipped below that mark and it’s  closer to $18 this morning.  

Why today?  Several investment analysts lowered their target prices in research notes that cited the looming expiration of more lock-ups on employee and insider shares.  In addition, the research firm eMarketer reported yesterday that it’s revised its forecast for Facebook revenue in 2012.

eMarketer now projects Facebook will have a little over $5 billion in sales this year. That’s  36 percent more than last year’s $3.7 billion, but it’s less than  eMarketer’s February prediction that Facebook’s revenue would hit $6 billion this year.  “Underperformance throughout the first half of 2012, along with questions about the effectiveness of some of the site’s ad products, have led to the downward revision,” the research firm said.

On the other hand, the firm praised Facebook’s ad-buying platform and noted that the company is addressing concerns about the business — while adding  that Facebook “must move even more quickly.”

Meanwhile, Business Insider’s Henry Blodget wrote a blog post today that revisited  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s letter in the company’s IPO prospectus.   Zuckerberg wrote extensively in that letter about his intention  for Facebook to take “a  different approach” than most public companies, by focusing on building products and services rather than near-term profits.

Investors, Blodget concluded, “can’t say that they weren’t warned.”

(Update: Facebook shares fell to a record low of $18.03 before closing at $18.06 on Friday afternoon.)




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