Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.US Dollar Crashes, Gold And Bitcoin Skyrocket As Economic Recovery Lie Is Exposed - Jeff_Berwick
2.Now Obama Warns Americans to ‘Be Prepared’ for Disaster… What Does He Know? - Jeff_Berwick
3.EU Referendum - Britain's Immigration / Migrant Crisis Explained - Nadeem_Walayat
4.EU Referendum - British People vs Establishment Elite, Vote LEAVE an Act of Defiance! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Prominent Billionaire Investors Warn of Financial Crash, Quietly Position Themselves - MoneyMetals
6.Bankers Warn of BrExit Financial Armageddon if British People Vote for Freedom - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bad U.S. Jobs Report Prompts Stocks Bear Market Rally Towards New All Time Highs! - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Gold And Silver – Friday May Have Marked A Pivotal Turnaround - Michael_Noonan
9.EU Referendum - British People vs Establishment Elite, the Illusion of Democracy and Freedom - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Felix Zulauf: Monetary Stimulation Creates Bubbles, Not Prosperity Nor Growth - GoldandLiberty
Free Silver
Last 7 days
Gold And Silver: Security, And BREXIT - 25th June 16
Dow, Euro & Brexit Recap - 25th June 16
Resistance Holding Gold Stocks after Brexit - 25th June 16
Venezuela vs. Ecuador (Chavismo vs. Chavismo Dollarized) - 25th June 16
Gold, Silver And PM Stocks Summer Doldrums Risk - 24th June 16
Here’s Why China “Economic Hard-Landing” Worries Are Overblown - 24th June 16
Jubilee Jolt: Markets Crash, Gold Skyrockets as Britain Takes Brexit - 24th June 16
BrExit Morning - New Dawn for Britain, Independence Day! - 24th June 16
LEAVE Wins EU Referendum - Sterling and FTSE Hit Hard, Pollsters, Bookies and Markets All WRONG! - 24th June 16
Trading BrExit - British Pound Plunges, FTSE Stock Futures Slump on LEAVE Shock Referendum Win - 24th June 16
EU Referendum Shock Results Putting BrExit LEAVE in the Lead Hitting Sterling Hard - 24th June 16
Final Opinion Poll Gives REMAIN 52% Lead, Bookmakers, Markets and Pollsters ALL Back REMAIN Win - 23rd June 16
Does BREXIT Matter? Outlook for Sterling - 23rd June 16
Keep Calm and Vote BrExit - Last Chance to Break Free of EU Superstate - 23rd June 16
Here’s the Foreign Policy Trump and Clinton Really Want - 23rd June 16
Details Behind Semiconductor Stocks Leadership - 23rd June 16
Trading BrExit - Stocks, Bonds, Sterling, Opinion Polls, Bookmaker Odds and My Forecast - 23rd June 16
BrExit Looks Set to Win EU Referendum, Final Opinion Polls Give LEAVE Lead Over REMAIN - 22nd June 16
Proof that the Gold Bears are Wrong - 22nd June 16
Here’s a Trillion-Dollar Investment Opportunity for Those Few with No Debt - 22nd June 16
BrExit to Save Europe from Climate Change Refugee Migration Apocalypse - 22nd June 16
Increase In U.S. Rig Count Will Not Cap Oil Prices - 22nd June 16
Are Copper and China Stocks Set to Rally? - 22nd June 16
SPX May Break Its Trendline - 22nd June 16
Believe it or Not: More Kids Live At Home Now than Since The Great Depression - 21st June 16
EU Referendum Latest Opinion Polls Show LEAVE Halting REMAINs Surge - 21st June 16
British Pound Outlook - BREXIT, Europe and You - Does your vote matter? - 21st June 16
Fascist Victory Behind the European Union - 21st June 16
EU Referendum Opinion Polls Analysis Shows Strong Momentum in REMAINs Favour - 21st June 16
Is It Time to Dump Gold and Buy Platinum? - 21st June 16
Could Central Bankers Be Gold and Silver's BIGGEST Allies? - 20th June 16
Words Still Mean Things – Brexit With Graham Mehl - 20th June 16
Baroness Warsi the Manchurian Candidate Quits LEAVE for REMAIN, Boris Johnson Next? - 20th June 16
FTSE Soars, Stock Markets Bounce on LEAVE Polls Surge, Bookmakers Widen BrExit Odds - 20th June 16
Brexit Would Trigger Devolution of Europe - 20th June 16
Stock Market Week Of Uncertainty - 20th June 16
Will Gold’s Bullish Price Chart Outperform Gold’s 5 Bearish Indicators? - 20th June 16
Bonds And Stocks At All-Time Highs: Are Markets Confused Or Broken? - 20th June 16
Silver Sleeping On the Job - 19th June 16
BrExit Odds Sink, REMAIN Polls Boost by Jo Cox Killing by Radical Right Extremist, Conspiracy? - 19th June 16
How Elliott Waves Tell You When to "Jump In" & When to "Jump Out" of Markets - 18th June 16
Stock Market Inflection Point During Bifurcation - 18th June 16
Gold And Silver – Insanity Is World “Norm.” Keep Stacking! - 18th June 16
Gold Stocks - Bull Markets that Follow Epic Bears - 18th June 16
The Fed Giveth and the Gold Bullion Banks Taketh Away… - 17th June 16
Brexit: "The Vote Heard Around the World" - 17th June 16
Gold Stocks Summer Breakout? - 17th June 16
Stock Investors Get Higher Returns and More Dividend Income - In Less Time With Less Risk - 17th June 16
How to Use the Gold-to-Silver Ratio? - 17th June 16
Inflation, Deflation & Associated Trading Prospects - 17th June 16
Overnight Markets Struggling to Stay Flat - 17th June 16
Gold Price Surges to Highest in Nearly Two Years On Central Bank and Brexit Haven Demand - 17th June 16
Stock Market Thinking Upside Down; Dow 18k Still Key - 17th June 16
Jo Cox MP Terror Attack Killing Claimed for "Britain First" - Witness Report - 17th June 16
Stock Market, Iron Ore, Bitcoin – Is Silver Next for Chinese Momentum Investors? - 16th June 16
EU Referendum Campaigning Suspended Following Shooting of MP Jo Cox, Suspect Named as Tommy Mair - 16th June 16
Why People are Migrating to the UK, Illegal Immigration, Housing Crisis Consequences - 16th June 16
Stocks Fluctuate Following Recent Decline - Bottom Or Just Pause Before Another Leg Down? - 16th June 16
The US Consumer-Driven Economy Has Hit a Brick Wall - 16th June 16
Bitcoin Price Going Parabolic Again, Now At $730 and Up 60%+ In Last Three Weeks - 16th June 16
China's Hard Landing Has Already Begun! - 16th June 16
Crude Oil Price - Oil Bears vs. Support Zone - 16th June 16
Central Bankers Are Wrong About Inflation and Deflation - 15th June 16
Alignment Of The Dow, Interest Rates, Debt and Silver Cycles Will Deliver A Fatal Blow - 15th June 16
Stock Market Bounce May be Over - 15th June 16
EU Referendum: Have the Bookmakers Got it Wrong? LEAVE Opinion Polls Lead - 15th June 16
Gold Price Rally - 15th June 16
How to Invest for Brexit Report - 15th June 16
Stock Market Short of the Decade? - 15th June 16
Stock Market Sell Off Coming! - 14th June 16
QE - The Good, Bad & Ugly - 14th June 16
This Demographic Shift Makes Our Social Security Useless - 14th June 16
Gold Stocks Ultimate Objective in a World of Monetary Transition - 14th June 16
Philosophy of the New World Order - 14th June 16
The Brexit Game - Boris Johnson vs David Cameron EU Referendum Zombies - 14th June 16
EU Referendum: LEAVE Opinion Poll Lead of 51% to 49% Whilst Bookmaker Odds Still Strongly Favour REMAIN - 14th June 16
George Soros Making Big Bets on Gold - 14th June 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Why 95% of Traders Fail

What Facebook is Really Worth

Companies / Tech Stocks May 25, 2012 - 11:09 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Companies

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleKeith Fitz-Gerald writes: Duh on you if you bought the Facebook IPO.

Double duh if you're thinking of buying Facebook stock now that it's fallen to $32 a share and lost $17.16 billion off its initial $104 billion valuation.


The company is only worth about $7.50 a share. And, no. That's not a typo. There is no missing zero or a placeholder.

That's reality. What is ludicrous is that Morgan Stanley and Facebook executives thought the company merited a $104 billion valuation at 100 times earnings.

As my good friend Barry Ritholtz pointed out recently, both Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) debuted at about 15 times earnings. Today they trade at 13.6 and 18.2 times earnings and 3.75 and 4.9 times sales respectively.

As I type, Facebook's market cap is $86.84 billion and its price to sales is ridiculously high at 21.01. I think that's way out of line.

So what should the numbers be?

Try this on for size. If we use Google's price to sales ratio of 4.9 (and I am being generous here for discussion purposes), that equals a total market cap of $20.24 billion or 76.68% lower than where it's trading today.

With 2.74 billion shares outstanding, that's equal to only $7.39-$7.50 per share.

No doubt I'll get the evil eye from the Facebook faithful and Morgan Stanley for saying this, but think about it.

Revenue is already slowing and the company does not and cannot possibly dominate the mobile markets that are becoming the preferred channel for millions of people.

Worse, startups are already cannibalizing Facebook's user base as concerns over privacy and who likes who mount.

Companies like General Motors (NYSE: GM) are deciding not to renew their advertising. This is going to hit Facebook to the tune of $10 million a year for the loss of GM alone.

More will undoubtedly head out the door for the same reason, since Facebook friends don't necessarily translate into revenue.

Corporate buyers are beginning to figure out that advertising on Facebook is simply not cost effective versus other media alternatives - gasp - including good old fashioned television and radio advertising, billboards and tradeshows.

Facebook Stock: At the Mercy of the Merely Curious
Many people think this isn't a big deal. They couldn't be more wrong.

Facebook serves up its ads while you're kibitzing about your latest trip or checking out pictures of your family's newest arrival. This is very different from how Google works, for example.

Google's adverts appear after a customer has already entered search terms and refined the results they want to see. Facebook's approach is like pissing in the wind and about as effective.

In practical terms what this means is that Google search advertisers know that those who click on their ads are already hunting. So they're willing to pay a few hundred dollars to acquire a paying customer.

Facebook advertisers, on the other hand, are at the mercy of the merely curious. That means the acquisition cost can be dramatically higher, perhaps even into the thousands of dollars.

There are very few business models and products where that kind of marketing expense is "worth" it.

Then there's the whole "like" thing.

That's badly flawed -- the Internet equivalent of signing somebody's yearbook in high school.

According to the technology savvy wunderkids at Facebook, "likes" are supposed to open up a magnificent relationship between prospective customers and the brands they "like."

Maybe this worked at Harvard when you were talking about bars, people and local hangouts but I don't buy that it's going to translate into real sales. So what if you become a company's friend?

When you "like" something, you get a stream of information from the "likee" that appears on your personal Facebook wall.

Go on a "like" binge one day and suddenly you've got 20 or 30 streams of information coming in right next to pictures of your hot rod buddies or school chums.

Over time, what happens is users tend to block out these streams in yet another never ending battle to screen out visual vomit, thereby robbing companies of the very connection they crave.

Your initial "like" never goes away, but depending on the barrage of information you receive I submit that brand negativity actually builds up.

If I "like" a genre-specific museum that's just opened up in town, I don't want to see totally unrelated posts about nearby milkshake parlors issued by the museum in a pathetic attempt to keep their brand front and center on my "wall."

The real measure of any business is how it handles the "dislike" button - but Facebook doesn't offer that.

According to the marketing cognoscenti and my own personal experience, most of the companies that advertise on Facebook are far below the 3-4 interactions a week needed to prompt a customer response. That is, unless you count the four-letter words every time I get an irrelevant "story" posted to my wall.

It's no wonder to me that very "unsocial" networks are already wiping the shine from Facebook's apple.

The assumption that Facebook can maintain the 100% growth it reported Q2 2011 is no more plausible than the 45% growth it reported most recently. Google couldn't. Apple couldn't. And both of them are real businesses.

So Now What For Facebook Stock?
I think Facebook's valuation is the least of its worries. The blame game now underway is only the tip of the iceberg.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) , Facebook and the Zuck himself are being sued over the IPO, according to a slew of papers filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan Wednesday morning.

At issue are material reductions in the company's revenue forecasts that were selectively disclosed to preferred investors as opposed to the investment community at large, as required by securities law.

Also at issue is the fact that a single Facebook executive may have communicated this information verbally to institutional investors but, again, not to every investor. That's a big no-no.

Talk about irony, though.

Facebook represents itself as ushering in a new era of transparency, openness and connectivity. If these allegations are true, the company could not have been more two-faced.

I've been involved in Wall Street and its IPOs for more than two decades and I have never seen something like this. It's unprecedented, especially when it comes to material revenue projection reductions during the company's pre-IPO roadshow.

So far individual investors are just getting warmed up.

Phillip Goldberg, for example, filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court against NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. saying the exchange acted negligently in its widely publicized mishandling of the Facebook IPO.

Goldberg, who is based in Maryland, apparently wants to represent a class action lawsuit on behalf of investors who lost money because their orders were not properly handled.

The bottom line?

I'd love to buy Facebook put options. But I can't. There aren't any and estimates suggest there won't be any made available until May 29th at the earliest.

I'd also love to short Facebook stock. But I can't do that, either.

My broker tells me the stock is on the restricted list, meaning the security cannot be borrowed nor delivered in such a way to consummate the transaction.

So, I'll just sit back and watch the fireworks for a while.

Come to think of it, $7.50 a share is still rich for a company that doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2012/05/25/facebook-stock-is-worth-7-50-a-share-at-best/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2011 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife