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article imageReport says long-awaited Facebook IPO may arrive in late May

By Leigh Goessl     Jan 17, 2012 in Business
The notion of Facebook's initial public offering had been making headlines all through 2011, but towards the end of the year, began to pick up more steam.
Much speculation has occurred regarding when the social network giant will make the plunge to IPO, and now reports are surfacing that Facebook's anticipated IPO is likely to come in late May.
According to All Things D, "multiple sources" are indicating Facebook's IPO is "now likely" to happen during the third week of May. However, the report noted the plan "could all change, in a New York minute," to occur at a different time.
Given that alleged date, Facebook needs to make a move within the next month in declaring their intention to the Securities and Exchange Commission, so the agency can review the IPO documents. This means the company will have to divulge financials, which to date, have been closely guarded by Facebook.
It is believed Facebook has over 500 investors, which means the company is now bound to report its financials under SEC rules, which state that a company must provide disclosure if it goes public and/or it "has 500 or more investors and $10 million or more in assets." So either way, it appears as if it may be time for Facebook to share figures.
Currently the trend of Internet companies going public is garnering a lot of attention. Facebook's IPO is expected to be one of the largest offerings ever for all IPOs and the largest for any tech company to date. For some time now media reports and financial specialists have been speculating the company to raise $10 billion on a $100 billion valuation. This is a large jump from the Jan. 2011 estimate that estimated a $50 billion valuation.
CNET reported this valuation would "trump tech veterans" Amazon and Hewlett-Packard which currently have a valuation of $81 billion and $52 billion respectively.
Trends change rapidly and, as technology progresses, markets can be volatile, and, even after an SEC filing, Facebook may just end up delaying its IPO, not unlike Groupon did last year. In market dynamics, this month Google integrated its Google+ network into search results, a potential market advantage over Facebook. Then again, "Facebook is coming on strong in many online measuring metrics," reported MSNBC in its article 'The most important IPOs to watch for in 2012'.
Earlier this week a report surfaced that speculated Facebook could hit 1 billion users by this summer.
Recently it was rumored the social network giant would go public sometime between April and June, so the May estimated time frame fits earlier speculation. Facebook, at this point, continues to remain mum about its IPO intentions. However those internal to the company are likely discussing the IPO at great length.
Meanwhile CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in a Jan. 14 interview with the Wall Street Journal, "we don't care [about business]. People for years were asking me why aren't we trying to make more money. I would say I'm trying to build a business for the long term and it was clearly the right strategy. I think the same is true now."
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