Facebook's IPO said to have more demand than shares available

Just days before going public, chatter abounds about whether the social network will be able to get the big bucks. Now sources say the IPO is "already oversubscribed."

Facebook's recent IPO filing and upcoming debut on the Nasdaq may be eliciting speculation of weak demand, but some sources say the social network is doing just fine in rounding up investors.

According to Reuters, which spoke to sources familiar with the share listing, Facebook's IPO is "already oversubscribed." The news source reported that institutional investors have currently "indicated demand for more shares than Facebook has available."

But it hasn't been so rosy up til now. Just yesterday, news broke that the social network amended its S-1 filing with the SEC to emphasize how the shift of its users to mobile devices is hurting what it can charge for ads , threatening its long-term revenue. And last month, first-quarter financial results showed that while the company's revenue rose, its profits fell.

Facebook announced its IPO pricing details a week ago, saying that it's seeking to raise as much as $13.6 billion in its IPO. That would value the company at roughly $88 billion. The company is aiming to price its shares between $28 and $35 and begin trading on May 17 or 18.

An analyst for Sterne Agee, Arvind Bhatia, says he believes the stock could hit $46 within the next 12 months . And even if the company prices its shares at the midpoint of the $28 and $35 range, it could land $5.6 billion in cash in the offering. A higher price would help it raise even more cash, which Facebook says could be used to help it grow.

According to Reuters, one major institutional investor earlier today put in a big order for shares and was "calling around syndicate desks trying to acquire more."

Facebook declined to comment on the matter when contacted by CNET.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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