Is Facebook Really Worth $100B?

Experts offer healthy dose of skepticism

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 3, 2012 8:53 AM CST

(Newser) – After Facebook's IPO filing on Wednesday, analysts are abuzz over a suggested $75 billion to $100 billion valuation. If the social network is to live up to the hype, it'll have to be "the next Google—or better," experts tell MSNBC. Opinions from around the web:

  • Sure, 845 million active monthly users and $3 billion in yearly revenue is nothing to sniff at. But a $75 billion valuation would make Facebook worth 40% of Google, whose profits are 11 times the social network's—whose growth may already be slowing, MSNBC notes.

  • Indeed, while Facebook's revenue jumped 88% last year, that's down from the 154% growth it experienced from 2009 to 2010, the Wall Street Journal reports. And two quarters of 2011 saw a drop in Facebook profits. The site faces big challenges in overseas advertising, whose development lags behind the US'.
  • The site isn't even operating in the world's top social networking market: China, the Los Angeles Times points out. And with Mark Zuckerberg holding 57% of voting shares, he's got "near-dictatorial power."
  • That's more power that Bill Gates had at Microsoft's IPO. And don't expect it to change, notes the New York Times. Zuck has been "remarkably focused" on "being the boss of Facebook" ever since he left Harvard.
  • Meanwhile, the site's all-male board is raising eyebrows at Bloomberg.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles during a meeting in San Francisco.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles during a meeting in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
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