NEW YORK - (AP) - After all the hype, Facebook's first day as a public company ended where it began. In its much-anticipated debut on the Nasdaq Stock Market, Facebook's stock closed Friday at $38.23, up 23 cents. It had been priced at $38 per share on Thursday night. After an anxiety-filled half-hour delay, its stock began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market for the first time as investors were finally able to put a dollar value on the company that turned online social networking into a global cultural phenomenon. The stock opened at 11:32 a.m. at $42.05, but soon dipped to $38.01. By noon, it was up again at $40.40, a 6 percent increase. It fluttered throughout the afternoon, but it never hit the double-digit jump that many Facebook-watchers had expected. By the end of the day, more than 500 million shares had changed hands. The closing price means Facebook is worth about $105 billion, more than Amazon.com, McDonalds and storied Silicon Valley icons Hewlett-Packard and Cisco. But as many people looked for a big first-day pop in Facebook's share price, the single-digit increase was somewhat of a letdown. "It wasn't quite as exciting as it could have been," said Nick Einhorn, an analyst with IPO advisory firm Renaissance Capital. "But I don't think we should view it as a failure." Indeed, the small jump in price could be seen as an indication that Facebook and the investment banks that arranged the initial public offering priced the stock in an appropriate range. It's also a supply and demand issue. Facebook offered nearly 20 percent of its available stock in the IPO, so there was enough to meet demand. In comparison, Google offered just 7.2 percent of its stock when it went public in 2004 - and rose 18 percent on day one.
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