Cloud Computing: Facebook IPO to Dwarf Recent Groupon, Zynga, LinkedIn Stock Market Debuts
1) Facebook: Social Network King
The social network-which in its SEC filing announced $3.7 billion in annual revenue, $1.8 billion in operating income and $1 billion net income for 2011-chalked up 845 million users in just under eight years. Facebook turns 8 Feb. 4.
Daily deals giant Groupon went public last Nov. 4. Its stock debuted at $20 per share and hit a high of $31.14 before closing at $26.11 by the market close. It sits around $21 as of this writing. Questions remain about the company's profitability as the industry experiences widespread "deal fatigue."
The most anticipated IPO until Facebook, professional networking site LinkedIn went public at $83 May 19, 2011, and shocked the high-tech world by soaring to 122.70 before closing at $93.86. Today, LinkedIn shares trade for a more modest $72. But LinkedIn's debut highlighted the market's feverish intensity for a hot Internet stock.
Zynga is the remora fish to Facebook's great white shark. The online gaming company rose to power within Facebook's platform as a purveyor of such popular titles as "Farmville" and Mafia Wars." Zynga went public in December at $10, but closed down 5 percent to $9.50. Not the auspicious debut everyone hoped, but today Zynga trades at around $10.50 and remains a gaming force to be reckoned with. It will be interesting to see how its relationship with Facebook evolves now that its major partner is also public.
5) Pandora Media
Pandora Media, a leading music recommendation service (U.S. only), came out at a respectable $20, and started trading at $20.30 a share for a market cap of more than $3 billion. However, as with Zynga and the fear of a second dot-com bubble, Pandora has fallen back to earth. Today it trades around $13.
6) Yandex Of Russia
What? You've never heard of Yandex? It's only the Google of Russia, accounting for 65 percent of Russia's search traffic for the first three months of 2011. The search giant went public last May at $25 a share, with the first share trading at $35. Yandex has come back to earth since, but trades at a respectable $20 or so.
7) Jive Software
Jive's public debut was interesting because it's a social media specialist that serves a different market than Facebook, which is focused on consumers, and LinkedIn, which is geared toward working stiffs. Jive sells social media software to large enterprises and did well enough to go public in December 2011 at $12 a share. Jive opened at $15.12 per share and now trades at around that number.
8) The Google Market Gorilla
Go back nearly eight years, when Google went public. The company went public in August 2004 for $84 a share closing at $100. The company went on to solidify its status as Silicon Valley's Internet darling, spreading good will. That was until it grew too big for everyone's comfort, and media and others revolted against it. The company now trades at nearly $600 a share.
9) Yahoo, Honorable Mention
Yahoo, which has seen better days (pardon the understatement), went public in April 1996 at $24.50 per share and topped $43 before closing at $33. Yahoo stock would hit an all-time high of about $108 per share in December 1999. Sadly, co-founder Jerry Yang is no longer with the company, which has seen a half dozen CEOs come and go within the last several years since its heyday faded and Google took its spot as the Web wunderkind. This leads us to wonder: Will the same thing happen to Google, with Facebook taking its place as the top Internet dog?
10) Whither Twitter?
What happens after Facebook? Well, eWEEK believes Twitter will be the next large social media company to go public. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was noncommittal on the subject earlier this week, but we think it's inevitable. The company is growing. What will its ticker symbol be? We're guessing TWIT, given Costolo's history as a stand-up comedian.