Facebook files for $5 billion IPO | February 3, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 3, 2012

Facebook files for $5 billion IPO

CEO Mark Zuckerberg retains more than 50 percent voting power

by Eric Van Susteren

Facebook Inc. of Menlo Park filed for an initial public offering of $5 billion Wednesday, Feb. 1, according to its SEC filing.

Bank Morgan Stanley will be the lead underwriter of the offering, but JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital will also participate.

The stock is organized into two classes: Class A and Class B. The document states that holders of each stock will have identical rights, but each share of Class B stock is worth 10 votes while Class A stock is worth only 1. This gives holders of Class B stock more voting control of the company.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg holds 533,801,850 shares of Class B stock, giving him 28.2 percent of total voting power before the IPO — the highest in the company. However, he also has voting proxy over additional shares, bringing his total voting power to 57 percent before the IPO.

Zuckerberg earned a base salary of $500,000 in 2011, but Facebook's compensation committee accepted his request to reduce his salary to $1 in 2013. Some executives adopt this strategy to instead receive compensation through stock options.

The filing revealed that the eight-year-old company earned $3.7 billion in revenue in 2011, $1.9 billion in 2010 and $777 million in 2009. The company's net income was $1 billion in 2011, $606 million in 2010 and $229 million in 2009.

Facebook's ticker symbol will be FB.


What impact do you think Facebook's IPO, and subsequent creation of Facebook instant millionaires, will have on local housing prices? Share your opinions on Town Square on Palo Alto Online.

Editorial Assistant Eric Van Susteren can be emailed at evansusteren@paweekly.com.


Posted by $5B-Is-A-Lot-Of-Lettuce, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Will be interesting to see:

1) what FB does with the money.
2) how much of the $5B the State of California will try to claim, and how long they will wait before trying to claim it?

Posted by good for us, a resident of Community Center
on Feb 1, 2012 at 6:16 pm

This IPO will be a boon for the area. The news on the radio said that after the google ipo there was am increase in home purchases and cars. This will be good financially for the area. Of course the usual naysayers will be unhappy-too much traffic and the like.

Posted by glad they are gone, a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 1, 2012 at 6:34 pm

So glad we kicked them out of town. Just think of the havoc that all those new millionaires would cause to our property values. Let Menlo Park bear the brunt of that problem.

Posted by good for us, a resident of Community Center
on Feb 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm

See what did I tell you? A college terrace residents chimes in with their sour grapes. Mauve they feel one billion if the ipo should go to them to pay for their suffering.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm

The College Terrace remark looked like facetiousness, not sour grapes.

Regarding California taxes, Zuck's pay cut will cost the Franchise Tax Board around $45,000 it planned to collect this year. And an SJ Merc story this morning indicated that many early employees are moving to lower-tax states before cashing in. I've heard that Bill Gates never paid any Washington State income tax.

Posted by Mike, a resident of University South
on Feb 2, 2012 at 6:30 am

I'm sure many newly minted millionaires will buy housing in Menlo Park and other nearby areas including Palo Alto.

Posted by PA Old-timer, a resident of University South
on Feb 2, 2012 at 8:41 am

A complete tear-down on Lincoln Ave. went for over 2M last weekend. Yes, I think they'll be buying local real estate!!! I'm a hometown Palo Altan, and as far as worrying about what all that money will do to PA--well, that train left the station a long time ago. I'm looking forward to selling my house and retiring elsewhere with a big nest egg. There's so little left of the PA that I loved, that I've had to accept the changes and get ready to move on.

Posted by old, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 2, 2012 at 9:47 am

re Musical
IS there an individual income tax in the state of Washington?

Posted by AMRW, a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:18 am

I'm confused about how FB makes money? Is it all advertising revenue? And the $$ that people pay to play games on there?

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

Somehow doesn't seem fair, no income tax in Washington. Maybe I'll move there before cashing out my 401k, though I'd like to stay here in my hometown. Still plenty left to love about Palo Alto. Until ABAG forces us to subdivide Foothills Park.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

You can google "How does Facebook make money" and get a billion hits. The answer is mostly advertising, some applications, and some virtual goods. Looks like they made an average of about $5 last year on each of their claimed 800,000,000 regular users.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:54 am

Fazebook. Beware.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:21 am

Advertising is a very fickle business. The traditional places to advertise are fast becoming non-productive. With more people watching tv and movies on the internet rather than over the air, cable or even satellite, and the demise of publishing both newspapers and magazines due to the internet, the boon in advertising is taking place on the internet.

With the ability to draw on specific demographic advertising, it is becoming the way to spend advertising budgets for many businesses.

Have you ever wondered why you get specific advertising to your interests or needs? Have you ever looked on Amazon for an item and regardless of whether you purchase anything, you find your facebook account showing advertisements for similar products or merchants in your area that sell the same thing? Have you ever opened up a news item on CNN to read more about the story and noticed advertising for related products? This is how it works and there are new ways to do this all the time. This is indeed how facebook is making its money.

And to get back to the CNN news story - sometimes it backfires. Readers to the CNN coverage of the recent Mediterranean cruise disaster found advertising for Caribbean Cruiselines cruises offering large discounts on the same screen as the news coverage of the disaster! Not what the advertisers were paying for, I'm sure! :)

Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

@ old & musical
FYI - NO there is no income tax in WA.

Anyway, this should help EPA out. They have some great places to eat lunch over at the Home Depot center...especially Mi Pueblo (YUMM), and I am sure the employees with hit up the Firehouse Grill place (whatever it's called!) for lunches and happy hour, let alone the home purchases to be made. Money will get spent and It should be all good.

I can't wait for the FB stocks to come out...I already have Zynga and because of this FB deal, it already has gone back up almost $2 just today, $4 since I bought it! HA!!
Let's go FB!!

Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:52 am

You wouldn't want to exchange your quality of life of Palo Alto for Washington, just for some income tax savings...You would go crazy with no sunshine for 9 months out of the year. That's why Oregon and Washington have high suicide rates.
I am glad I am not there anymore! They are both a great place to visit, for sure!

Posted by old, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:58 am

Thanks, KP, and thanks, Resident--quite amusing about discounts on cruises!

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Agreed PA has best quality of life, but it may become a matter of affordability in retirement. I should bicycle over to FB headquarters and look for a job. Back in the day I could hack some wicked fortran code on those ibm360 punchcards.

Posted by KP, a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm

HAHAHA...I don't think they need those skills anymore!! LOL!

Posted by old, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm

KP, and Facebook, seems boring already - how long before everyone sees it that way?

Posted by Bob, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm

NO, there is no individual income tax in the State of Washington. By the way, Microsoft had a big layoff this week, and housing prices are also depressed. Good time to buy there.

Posted by susie, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Facebook is a big mess. Any company that can rise that fast can fall twice as fast. All those users may change their data. particularly the young. Move country. Change jobs. Try to reinvent themselves despite having sold their privacy to this predatory company. There will be law suits for misleading privacy claims. There will be challenges from civilized countries in Europe as to legitimacy of a company which sells private information. Then there will be the UNCOOL UNHIP factor. I mean the dorkiness of a company designed to fool fools. So I predict this company will only last a few years. It is no longer fashionable. No longer hip. As Data miners they are only as good as the accuracy of their database. And accuracy relies entirely on it being HIP. And it is no longer HIP. There is nothing to stop its entire user base migrating to another social network. Billions of users mean nothing to someone with 40 friends. So this database will become old, out of date and obselete. A database of BAD data is worse than no data. Advertizers will look elsewhere. Zuck will make a billion. Live in PA for a decade. But the FB will be a disaster. How can anyone think that people will continue ONLY to use this as a social network?

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