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Facebook value tops $US100b, Pepsi and Citi

16 February 2012 No Comment

Facebook’s privately traded shares have risen 10 per cent since the dominant social network filed for an initial public offering, pushing its market value past $US100 billion, according to SharesPost.

SharesPost managed the auction of 150,000 shares of Facebook’s Class B common stock at a clearing price of $US44, compared with $US40 February 2, according to a statement from the private-stock marketplace yesterday.

That values Facebook at $US102.6 billion ($US95 billiion) based on an estimated 2.33 billion shares, including stock tied to options that may be issued later.

That valuation would place Facebook higher than PepsiCo, the snackmaker that traces its roots back more than a century, and Citigroup, the third-biggest US bank by assets. Facebook filed last week for a $US5 billion IPO, and people familiar with the matter have said Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is considering a sale that would value the company at $US75 billion to $US100 billion.

At $US100 billion, Facebook would be valued at 26.9 times trailing 12-month sales, or more than double Google’s valuation when the search-engine operator went public in 2004.

Revenue at California-based Facebook jumped 88 per cent last year to $US3.71 billion, while net income climbed by almost two-thirds to $US1 billion.

The valuation based on private-market transactions may change depending on the actual share count after the IPO.

As of Dec. 31, Facebook had 117.1 million Class A shares and 1.76 billion Class B shares outstanding. There also are about 379 million restricted stock units that vest later, as well as about 259 million shares that may be issued if outstanding stock options are exercised, the prospectus shows.

Jeremiah Hall, a spokesman for California-based SharesPost, confirmed the auction. Jonathan Thaw, a spokesman for Facebook, declined to comment.

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