Facebook Inc shares fizzled on their first day of trade on the Nasdaq, erasing early gains of as much as 18 percent to trade close to their initial public offering price.
The stock opened 11 percent higher and rose to $45 before rapidly heading south in frenzied trade, touching its initial public offering price of $38. The No. 1 online social network raised as much as $18.4 billion in one of the biggest initial public offerings in U.S. history.
After a delay in the opening print that drove up anxiety levels among traders and onlookers outside the Nasdaq, the company’s closely watched stock began trading at $42.05, compared with an IPO price of $38.
To rapturous applause from employees, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg — flanked by Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Nasdaq Chief Executive Robert Greifeld — rang the bell to kick off trading at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time.
The 28-year-old billionaire founder hugged and high-fived Sandberg and other employees in celebration after he pressed the remote button.