Facebook to start at $38 per share

May 17, 2012 at 6:17 PM
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NEW YORK, May 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Internet giant Facebook said its starting point for its debut as a publicly traded company would be $38 per share.

The price, which would raise $18.4 billion, values the firm at $104 billion.

Only Visa Inc. has raised more on its first day, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. Visa raised $19.6 billion on its first day on the market in 2008.

However, no company in memory has gone from start-up to a firm worth more than $100 billion in so short a time, said Francis Gaskins, editor of IPOdesktop.com.

"There's never been a company that's gone from inception to IPO with this kind of valuation," Gaskins said.

Eight years ago, Facebook was a new Web site started in a dormitory at Harvard University.

It has jumped from a privately funded college project to earning revenues of $3.7 billion, a sum that is expected to rise to $6.1 billion in 2012, EMarketer Inc. said.

Facebook shares will be given a delayed start Friday, with sales beginning at 11 a.m. EDT, 90 minutes after Nasdaq opens for business.

The timing has been set to give Nasdaq an orderly start to the day, the newspaper said.

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