Facebook IPO: Investors still hitting the 'unlike' buttonJune 6, 2012: 11:52 AM ET
Facebook (FB) was expected to be the poster child of success when it went public two weeks ago but since its May 18 debut, shares have slid 33% from the initial public offering price of $38.
In fact, the stock closed higher only three times since then, including its first day, when it closed at $38.23 a share. That's not much of a showing for a tech IPO, especially one that was as hyped up as Facebook. Consider LinkedIn (LNKD). On its first trading day, the stock doubled (priced at $45 and ended the day at $90). Groupon (GRPN) was another hot tech IPO. Its stock surged 30% when it debuted. Of course, one good, or even great for that matter, day doesn't spell long-term success. After a series of missteps, Groupon's stock is now trading at half its IPO price.
Both of those companies also didn't have to contend with the same opening day troubles as Facebook, which faced a delayed open because of technical glitches at Nasdaq (NDAQ) that left numerous investors with unwanted shares as trade cancellations and confirmations got hung up.
Shares of Facebook managed a late-day surge Wednesday. After hitting a fresh low of $25.52, the stock ended the day up 3.6% at $26.81. Compare that with Facebook's opening day, when the stock surged -- very briefly -- as high as $45. But it came dangerously close to ending its public debut below the IPO price as outrage over botched trades grew.
The mismanaged opening has been a big blow to Nasdaq, which is called the tech-heavy index for a reason. The exchange got caught completely unprepared to handle the speed and volume of trades and cancellations, which led to the 30-minute delay. And in the days and weeks since, investors, traders and brokers are still trying to untangle that web.
Midday, Nasdaq said it had a plan to compensate market makers -- the firms making the actual trades on behalf of brokerages -- to the tune of $40 million, but only $13.7 million of that will be in cash. And for many individual investors, they're still left twisting in the wind. And for many, Nasdaq's mea culpa is way too little too late.