Facebook’s (NYSE: FB) IPO struggled out of the gate on May 18, 2012. With its price set at $38, it closed at only $38.23 at the end of that day. It dipped for several days after that. However, the early debacle is a very distant memory. Facebook’s shares are up 370% from the first day of trading to $150.25. Its market cap is $425 billion, which places it fifth among all publicly traded companies.
The two things which have been the primary drivers of the huge run are its user numbers and rapid revenue grow. It has also helped that Facebook is very profitable. In 2010, Facebook’s revenue was $2 billion, and its net income $606 million. In 2016, revenue reached $27.6 billion, and net income $10.2 billion. EPS has moved from $.49 to $3.56 over the same period.
Facebook’s first quarter 2017 numbers will be released on May 3. They are expected to show more strong double digit improvement.
At the end of last year, Facebook had 1.86 billion monthly active users, and important metric for the social media sector. A research firm called Internet Live Statistics claims the current Facebook count is just shy of 1.9 billion, which means it could top 2 billion by mid year.
A by product of Facebook’s size it that it is part of what ad industry expected call the internet advertising duopoly. According to the FT:
Google and Facebook will extend their dominance of digital advertising this year to control 60 per cent of the growing market, according to a new forecast from eMarketer.
US digital ad spending will grow 16 per cent to $83bn, the research group projected, as Google’s revenues rise 15 per cent and Facebook’s increase 32 per cent.
The two companies’ hold on online spending has created a digital duopoly that is upending the advertising business. In 2015 they accounted for 75 per cent of all new online ad spending, according to Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the US venture capital fund
Google’s parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has a market cap of $639 billion, which puts it second among all companies behind only Apple
If Facebook continues to take large bits from the online visitor universe, its shares will continue to rally