Let the show begin.
Facebook has set the price of tomorrow's IPO at $38 a share, after phenomenally strong demand from big money managers to get in on the biggest Internet IPO in history. The price gives Facebook a market value of $104 billion out of the gate, more than the stock market value of Amazon and about half that of Google's.
Facebook has raised $16 billion by selling 421.2 million shares. That's almost 10 times what Google raised when it went public in 2004, a deal that until now had been the record holder among Internet IPOs, according to data compiled by Renaissance Capital. The top U.S. IPO of all time is Visa, which raised $17.9 billion in March 2008.
Earlier this week, Facebook boosted its price range, from $28 to $35 a share to $34 to $38 a share.
This optimism comes even as big insiders -- investors Peter Thiel and Yuri Milner, among them -- just yesterdayin the offering because Facebook raised the price range.
And the news about the company recently has hardly been all positive. Facebook took a publicity hit this week when General Motors said it wasbecause they weren't working. Last month, Facebook reported a , showing that growth is slowing. And the company has acknowledged that as of yet it has no way to make money from its biggest growth area -- mobile.
No matter. Investors don't want to hear any of that. The big boys have weighed in with their dollars, and tomorrow individual investors -- despite the obvious risk of getting in on day one -- will likely also pile in. After that, all bets are off.