The world was waiting for the fireworks as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rang the Nasdaq’s opening bell from the company’s Menlo Park headquarters on Friday. But Facebook’s first day of public trading proved to be more bark than bite.
One of the most highly anticipated IPOs in Wall Street history, the company’s stock closed at $38.23, up just 23 cents for the day.
Facebook is still worth about $105 billion, more than fellow Silicon Valley giants Hewlett-Packard and Cisco.
The stock surged early on Friday, jumping nearly 10 percent in the opening minutes, before shares returned to their initial offering price.
By the end of the day, about 570 million shares changed hands. The concern is of course the fate of the stock in the coming weeks, as several other social-media companies who have gone public in the last year have seen their shares plummet, including Zynga and Yelp.
Facebook, which has roughly 900 million users worldwide, is one of the few profitable Internet companies to go public recently, with a net income of $205 million in the first three months of 2012.
We’ll see how the stock fares in the coming weeks and months.