Facebook shares hit new low of $17.58 as bleeding continues

The company's shares have fallen to their lowest point since the stock went public earlier this year for $38 per share.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Facebook shareholders are back at it.

The company's stock is down again this morning, dropping to a new low of $17.58. The shares have since climbed a bit to $17.70, which is still down 2 percent compared to their opening price of $18.06.

After going public in May for $38 a share, Facebook shares have plummeted. On Friday, Facebook was down 5.3 percent after BMO Capital Markets reduced its 12-month price target from $25 to $15.

"We expected investor attention to return to fundamentals after the technical challenges presented by lockup expirations over the next six months have been absorbed by the stock," BMO's Daniel Salmon said in a note.

The first lockup expiration came down last month, allowing 271 million shares to be sold by insiders and employees. That resulted in a 5 percent drop in Facebook's share price. In just the next four months, over 1.5 billion shares will be made available for sale, possibly leading to even more sell-offs.

Even Facebook's earliest, most ardent supporters have left the company behind. Late last month, Peter Thiel, Facebook's first outside investor, sold about 20 million shares to score approximately $400 million in the exchange. Thiel, who put $500,000 in Facebook in 2004, cashed out $640 million in the IPO.

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