专栏 - Allan Sloan


Allan Sloan 2012年05月25日

艾伦·斯隆(Allan Sloan)为《财富》杂志高级编辑。出生于纽约布鲁克林,1966年毕业于布鲁克林学院,次年毕业于哥伦比亚大学新闻学院研究生院。他是金融领域的资深记者,2008年以“"House of Junk”一文第七次获得财经新闻界最高荣誉杰洛德-罗布奖(Gerald Loeb Award)。


    这件事真的有点可笑,如果你喜欢金融黑色幽默的话。Facebook和以摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)为主的承销商们激发了人们对这次新股发行的热情。发行价区间最初为每股28至35美元,但最后被提高到了38美元。买家们都垂涎欲滴,有关这次新股发行的讨论简直震耳欲聋。






    When Mark Zuckerberg's stated mission to connect and empower people collides with Wall Street's actual mission, which is to empower and enrich the well-connected, guess which mission prevails? Wall Street's, hands down. That's the lesson we can take from the debacle of Facebook's initial public stock offering.

    It's really sort of funny, if you're into dark financial humor. Facebook (FB) and its underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley, whipped up enthusiasm for the offering, whose initial price range was $28 to $35 a share, but ultimately was increased to $38. Buyers were salivating. The buzz about the offering was deafening.

    Then, at the last-minute, some big investors were reportedly given access to an analysis saying that the company's prospects weren't quite as rosy as the picture painted in its early disclosure documents. So the big guys, it appears, cut back or even canceled their orders to buy shares in the offering. This late-in-the-game burst of activity may even have had something to do with the Nasdaq foul up that roiled trading last Friday, the day the stock debuted.

    The exit of the well-connected, combined with an increase in the number of shares being offered, left more shares available for individual investors, who paid the full retail price of $38. Then, they got to watch the stock's sickening slide. As I write this, Facebook is trading 16% below its initial offering price -- a pretty nasty three-day loss.

    The well-connected who canceled their IPO orders -- all of which, I'm sure, is perfectly legal on everyone's part -- have had a chance to buy stock in the low 30s rather than at $38. Retail investors who were dreaming of riches and figured they were lucky to be able to buy at the offering price have gotten bagged for more than $6 a share. Even though they may not have actually sold at a loss, they paid $38 Friday for stock they could have bought at less than $32 today. The numbers are even worse for people who bought shares in the open market at prices in the 40s on the first day of trading.

    Who benefited from the way the offering has played out? Primarily, the early Facebook shareholders who cashed out in the offering. According to the most recent available document, early Facebook investors ranging from Zuckerberg to Microsoft (MSFT) to various venture capital funds sold a total of 241.2 million shares in the offering, compared with only 180 million shares sold by the company itself. It's unusual to see early investors selling this big a piece -- 57% -- of the shares being peddled in an IPO.

    During the weeks that the Facebook offering was pending, we saw a steady increase in the number of shares being offered by insiders, all of whom by definition are well-connected. In its May 3 filing, the first with specific numbers, Facebook said insiders would sell 157.4 million shares. They wound up selling an additional 83.8 million shares -- the company's piece of the offering remained where it had been originally set, at the aforementioned 180 million shares.

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