270M Facebook Shares Could Hit the Market Today

Lock-up period ends for early investors
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2012 5:59 AM CDT
This June 20, 2012 photo shows a Facebook login page on a computer screen in Oakland, N.J.   (AP Photo/Stace Maude)

(Newser) – Desperate to get your hands on a sagging Internet stock? Well, you're in luck: 271.1 million Facebook shares could hit the market beginning today, as the lock-up period that barred early investors from selling their stock expires. Today marks 90 days since Facebook's IPO, making those shares eligible for sale—which could boost the amount of Facebook stock available on the open market by more than 60%, reports Bloomberg.

But those 271.1 million shares still comprise only 14% of the 1.91 billion due to be released over the next three quarters. “Buckle your seatbelts for the next couple of months until they make it through all these shares coming unlocked,” said one analyst. Shares of the dominant online social network closed at $21.10 yesterday, well down from the IPO price of $38—that's a market-value decline of about $40 billion, making Facebook the worst-ever large-scale IPO on record by Bloomberg's calculations. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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