Facebook, the social media website with 901 million members, expects its initial public offering to be declared effective soon for a May completion date, financial wires reported.
As a result, the San Francisco company's IPO could raise the $5 billion as outlined in the latest amendment to its IPO filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 23.
Because Facebook only plans to offer a fraction of its shares, its overall value could range between $77 billion and $100 billion, depending upon market sentiment tapped by principal underwriters Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MSD), JPMorganChase (NYSE: JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), along with eight other leading Wall Street firms.
Reports cited by financial services companies said the underwriters have scheduled an IPO roadshow to finally start next week, followed by an IPO the week of May 14 or May 21, depending upon SEC approval.
Last year, the SEC held up approvals for two highly anticipated websites, Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN) and Zynga (Nasdaq: ZNGA) because of accounting and financial questions that caused restatements. Both were finally permitted to trade but Groupon last month was forced to declare its financial accounts were materially defective and replace some of its directors.
Facebook, by contrast, filed an amended prospectus with the SEC because it had more than 500 shareholders, which allowed it to report first-quarter results. They showed growth for the site had slowed, expenses had grown and overall profit had eased.
For the period ended March 31, net income slipped 12 percent to $205 million, or 9 cents a share, from $233 million, or 11 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose 45 percent to $1.06 billion.
During the roadshow, Facebook executives including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who turns 28 on Monday, and CFO David Ebersman, 42, will likely be asked by potential investors to explain their strategy and growth expectations.
Despite the IPO reception, Zuckerberg, who'll trim his $483,000 annual salary to only $1, will control 58 percent of the company, potentially valued at least at $28 billion.
Stock markets have been strong so far this year, especially with the Nasdaq, where Facebook plans to list its shares as FB, up 19 percent.
Several technology IPOs last month, including Splunk (Nasdaq: SPLK) and Proofpoint (Nasdaq: PFPT), were home runs for the underwriters: Splunk shares, priced at $17, traded recently at $35.73, while Proofpoint shares, priced at $13, were at $13.11 after tapping $17.11.