Facebook IPO Stumbles Out of the Gate

Sharon Gaudin May 21, 2012
Facebook IPO Stumbles Out of the Gate
Social network's stock price wavers in first hours of trading

This probably isn't how Facebook envisioned its initial public offering would roll out.

The first hours of the social networking company's IPO got off to a shaky start today with the share price wavering around the $40 mark, never gaining the astronomical momentum that had been anticipated by many. Shortly after 2 p.m. ET, the stock price was hovering just under $41, less than $3 above its initial share price.

"It's certainly not flying to unprecedented levels," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "This underscores the thesis that many investors are taking a wait-and-see approach."

He added that while many people may be surprised Facebook's stock price hasn't taken off yet, they really shouldn't be.

"I think it's surprising a lot of people, but I think it should have been expected," said Kerravala. "There are a lot of questions about Facebook.... How are they going to monetize mobile? Can [CEO Mark] Zuckerberg run a public company?"

Twenty-eight year-old Zuckerberg started the day by ringing the Nasdaq opening bell from company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

After that, though, there were a few hitches.

Trading was supposed to start at 11 a.m. ET, but the Nasdaq delayed it by about half an hour in order to handle the flood of buy and sell orders that were coming through for Facebook's stock.