Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why Facebook Didn't Tank (Again)

A funny thing happened on the way to Facebook's second lockup expiration Wednesday — it sent the bears running for cover, unlike lockup expiration version 1.0 back in August.

This is good news — but it's not all good.

The good news is obvious enough: Facebook shares not only held their own but rallied — more than on any other day of the company's brief, rocky existence as a public company. Shares shot up about 13%, to close at $23.23. And to emphasize that wasn't some kind of irrationally exuberant fluke, $FB was essentially flat and in line with a slightly down NASDAQ in early Thursday trading.

The bad news is not as obvious: Insider holders of Facebook stock saw the prospect of dumping as many as 800 million shares on the market all at once as a holding opportunity — not a chance to cash in on a windfall that is a significant part of their compensation package.

The "maybe good, maybe bad" news? Strong, counterintuitive performances like this shift the conversation from talk about the stock to talk about fundamentals (see below).

(Continued ...)

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