Facebook set an expected initial public offering price range of $28 to $35 per share today.
“Facebook, Inc. is offering 180,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock and the selling stockholders are offering 157,415,352 shares of Class A common stock,” Facebook said in the amended S-1. “We anticipate that the initial public offering price will be between $28.00 and $35.00 per share.”
Based on the number of shares for sale and the price range provided, Facebook will raise between $9.4 billion and $11.8 billion through the offering. Facebook said net proceeds, assuming an initial public offering price of $31.50 per share, would be approximately $5.6 billion.
Facebook priced shares in the high $20s to mid $30s range, as was predicted earlier in the day by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, which were tipped off to the range prior to the S-1 update.
The price range means that Facebook is targeting a valuation as high as $96 billion. Previous reports suggested that Facebook would start its market debut with a $100 billion valuation, but the social network will surpass the $100 billion mark if it chooses to up its offering price. Financial data company PrivCo says it has confirmed that Facebook’s underwriting team will raise the range to $38 to $40 per share prior to the IPO.
“PrivCo believes the low range announced today is due to a weak Q1, to facilitate a re-price above range prior to the IPO, and to guarantee a price pop on the first day of trading,” CEO Sam Hamadeh said.
In the first quarter of 2012, Facebook made $205 million in net income on $1.06 billion in revenue. The revenue figure represents a six percent dip from the previous quarter, and the income number means that Facebook made $28 million less than it did in the same quarter last year. The takeaway, Hamadeh told VentureBeat at the time, was that Facebook’s quarterly revenue fell sequentially for the first time, a fact he characterized as “awful” for the pre-IPO company.
Facebook is also expected to kick off its investor roadshow Monday, with initial preparations starting Friday. Sources have said that the company plans to go public on May 18.
Facebook declined to comment on this story.