The end of the Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) lockup is quickly approaching.
More than 270 million shares of the social network will become free to trade on Thursday. Following the initial public offering in May, trading by company insiders has been forbidden. Lockup periods, which usually last between 90 and 180 days following an IPO, prevent the market from being overburdened with too many shares of the company.
Thursday’s end to the lockup will constitute one of several dates in the coming months where more insiders shares receive approval.
Facebook has had a tumultuous few months since its IPO. Shares have fallen nearly 46% from its $38 IPO price, closing at $20.38 on Monday. Investors are concerned that Facebook does not have a strong strategy to generate revenue from the mobile market, which account holders are increasingly taking advantage of in lieu of personal computers.
Facebook is not the only recent technology IPO to slump. Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) closed at $5.51 on Monday, way below its IPO price of $20 a share in November. Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) closed at $3.02 on Monday, a fraction of its $10 IPO price back in December. One exception has been LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD), which closed at $101.76 on Monday, up from $45 in its IPO in May 2011.