It has been no secret that Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has been a meteoric rise. For a serious growth story and with its dominant position in social media set, it is not even deemed overly expensive by serious growth stock investor metrics. Still, Facebook’s valuation should start turning heads here on a relative basis.
The driving issue is not just that Facebook already passed Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) in market cap. That is old news. Now Facebook has passed General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), and it even recently surpassed JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) in market cap as well.
Facebook’s market cap is right at $275 billion, about $1.5 billion larger than the market cap of GE and about $18 billion higher than JPMorgan. Facebook’s market cap is now $40 billion larger than Wal-Mart’s.
So, how does all this Facebook market value compare to GE, JPMorgan and Wal-Mart? 24/7 Wall St. decided to look at headcount, revenue, operating income and forward earnings valuations. Admittedly, these are hard to use on an apples-to-apples basis.
Facebook had operating earnings of $4.99 billion on $12.46 billion in revenues in 2014. The company is expected to see revenue grow to $17.1 billion in 2015 and $22.9 billion in 2016. Facebook trades at 49 times expected 2015 operating earnings and at 37 times expected 2016 operating earnings. Facebook has just more than 10,000 employees.
General Electric had operating earnings of $26.7 billion on $148.6 billion in revenue in 2014. GE’s top-line and bottom-line estimates remain hard to calculate due to its changes in Synchrony and GE’s finance and capital operations. Still, GE trades at close to 17 times expected 2016 operating earnings. It has roughly 300,000 employees.
JPMorgan had $91 billion in 2014 revenues, with operating income of $29.8 billion. The stock trades at less than 11 times expected operating earnings for 2016. JPMorgan has around 240,000 employees.
Wal-Mart had $485 billion in 2014 sales, with operating income of $27.1 billion. Wal-Mart trades at about 15 times forward earnings. And the company has about 2.2 million employees.
Sometimes these valuation pieces are very hard to use for apples-to-apples comparisons. Still, they sure stand out when you consider operating income, economic footprints, headcount, total revenue and other key metrics.