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Facebook stock opens with a thud, ends down 11 percent

The world's largest social network watched its shares plummet today, the first after its IPO. The stock closes at $34.03, a sizable drop for the fervently anticipated stock.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
Facebook shareholders don't have much to smile about today.
Facebook shareholders don't have much to smile about today. James Martin/CNET

Last update: 1:38 p.m. PT

So, it looks like investors are not too happy with Facebook today.

The company's shares plummeted in early trading, hitting a low of $33, down some 13 percent, shortly after the opening bell. By the end of the day, they had recovered slightly to close out at $34.03, down 11 percent for the first full day of post-IPO trading.

The poor performance puts Facebook much lower than its $38 initial offering price and its Friday close at $38.23. The humongous social network made its attention-grabbing stock market debut Friday.

The writing appeared to be on the wall this morning when Facebook started trading below $38 in pre-market trading. Ahead of that, Facebook's shares were hovering around $36 in pre-market.

Apparent soft demand for Facebook shares has sparked some fear among investors and industry observers over whether the social network was priced too high at its start. However, more long-term thinkers would say it's too early to get paranoid about Facebook's shares or the prospects for long-term success.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter is among many who believe Facebook will see its shares rise in the coming months. In a note to investors today, he said that he expects the social network's stock to jump to $44 in the next 12 months. Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said earlier this month that he expects the company's shares to increase to $46 over the next year.

Update note: Added the closing price for the day.