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MUCH ADO ABOUT FACEBOOK

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POSTED May 18, 2012 9:54 p.m.

 

Facebook's debut on the stock market was preceded by epic hype, delayed by a technical glitch and tracked minute-by-minute by investors around the world. In the end, the fuss was over a gain of 23 cents.

Here are some highlights of the day, as gathered by reporters from The Associated Press:

*STAT CHECK: Facebook closed at $38.23, a gain of 23 cents, or 0.61 percent. About 570 million shares were traded on its first day as a public company. For perspective, that is roughly equal to the combined trading volume of 28 of the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones industrial average — every Dow stock except Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

*THE EARLY INVESTOR: Alper Aydinoglu, a student at DePaul University in Chicago, got 50 shares via Etrade at $38, the offering price. He said that he was "disappointed with the first day of trading." His gain on paper: $11.50. And that was before Etrade's standard commission of $9.99. He called it an excellent learning opportunity, though. "On top of everything," he added, "I now have the bragging rights that I participated in one of the most popular IPOs of all time."

*ZUCK: DOING THE MATH: The closing stock price of $38.23, multiplied by a holding of 503,601,850 shares, gives CEO Mark Zuckerberg a stake worth $19,252,698,725. And 50 cents.

In Menlo Park  Zuckerberg addressed Facebook employees Friday morning and said: "Right now this all seems like a big deal. Going public is an important milestone in our history. But here's the thing, our mission isn't to be a public company. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected," Zuckerberg said. "In the past eight years, all of you out there have built the largest community in the history of the world. You've done amazing things that we never would have dreamed of and I can't wait to see what you guys all do going forward."

*MAD MONEY: Earlier this week, Mad magazine imagined a Facebook stock certificate, complete with a photo of Mark Zuckerberg smiling from inside an oval, like George Washington on the dollar bill. "Thank you for funding our ongoing effort to collect and control every single piece of personal information on the Internet," the certificate said. "Every photograph, every song, every social cause, every event listing, every opinion, every breathless description of a recently eaten pulled-pork sandwich."

*THE OUTSIDER'S VIEW: "I'm part of the 99 percent. I don't buy stock shares," Jerry Urban said as he waited for a bus in Baltimore. "I wish them good luck. Tell them to stop selling my information."

THE RIPPLE EFFECT: CALIFORNIA CASH: Besides minting Internet billionaires, the Facebook IPO should provide a little help for the cash-starved state of California. The state's nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office says the IPO will generate $1.6 billion to $2.6 billion for the state through the middle of next year as shareholders cash in their stock. California badly needs the money: Gov. Jerry Brown said over the weekend that the projected state deficit has swelled to $15.7 billion for the coming fiscal year. In January, it was projected at $9.2 billion.

A BANKER WEIGHS IN: Blessing Oguguam of Nashville, Tenn., a vice president in business banking for Wells Fargo who has worked in commercial lending for 15 years, said he was not comfortable buying Facebook stock: "I'm thinking it's great for now. But 10 years from now, is that crave still going to be there? So if I go ahead and invest now, I know Facebook is not producing any product. It's just a social media site. So in 10 years to come, if this hype dies down, then what happens to my investment?"

 

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