Facebook IPO valuation falls short of $100 billion – for now

Facebook’s valuation for its forthcoming IPO will be about $90 billion, rather than the rumored $100 billion – but it’ll still be the biggest-ever internet company IPO, raising around $10 or $11 billion.

There had been concerns that Facebook’s recent shopping spree, buying Instagram and a stash of Microsoft patents, might have delayed the IPO until June.

According to an SEC filing, the company plans to price its shares at between $28 and $35. The big road show should start on Monday, with company executives pitching to prospective investors; shares are expected to start trading from May 17 or 18.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg is likely to make as much as $19 billion from the deal.

The price is unlikely to deter excited investors – although questions have been raised over the real worth of the company. After all, even MacDonald’s – rather more profitable than Facebook, to put it mildly – has a lower market value.

Last month, Facebook announced a fall in both earnings and revenue, its first quarter-on-quarter revenue slide in over two years. It’s been performing poorly in the mobile arena, and analysts agree it needs to improve its advertising strategy and revenue.

And the fact that Zuckerberg plans to retain such a large stake – with about 57 percent of voting power – has also put some potential investors off.

A final price will be determined before shares start trading, and it may be higher than currently expected; many investors have bought shares on the secondary market in recent months, and some have paid a great deal more. It’s not unusual for companies to suggest a lowish price in order to drum up interest.