Shares of Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), the No. 1 social network, rose more than 3 percent Thursday. After trading as high as $33.21, they closed at $33.03, up $1.03, their third gain in five sessions.
A week ago, they were priced at $38 by underwriters Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), with another 30 other managers.
Facebook raised $16 billion in the IPO, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show, far more than it originally expected to bring in. Insiders such as CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 28, netted $9 billion even before the shares were sold to the public on Friday.
But fallout from the IPO continues: Girard Gibbs, a big San Francisco law firm, filed still another class-action lawsuit against the company on Thursday alleging false and misleading statements made to the SEC. So did Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz, which brought its lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Earlier ones were filed in New York.
Chief underwriter Morgan Stanley has acknowledged its Internet analyst, Scott Devitt, spoke to some clients about the company during the May roadshow, but didn't say anything irregular.
Under SEC regulations known as Fair Disclosure, any concerns about the company such as earnings and revenue predictions, must be made to all investors.
Oral remarks are acceptable under the Securities Act of 1933, said Jeremiah Garvey, a securities lawyer with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Pittsburgh. He said analysts constantly revise their earnings models for companies.
None of the 33 major underwriters, though, has published an investment report on Facebook yet. Several firms not associated with Facebook, such as Needham & Co. and Sterne Agee have published analyst reports with buy ratings.
Several investment firms acknowledged losses in the disastrous IPO. Chicago's Citadel, which manages a $1 billion hedge fund, has a loss as high as $35 million, Knight Capital Group (NYSE: KCG) said it would take a hit as high as $35 million on second-quarter results also due to Facebook problems.
Still, with a record 421 million shares sold in the IPO, with a quarter sold to individuals, some industry analysts have questioned whether other elements could have contributed to snafus in prices and executing trades..
For example, last week, General Motors (NYSE: GM), announced it would pull its $10 million advertising account from Facebook. Then came the glitches in opening trading on Nasdaq, followed by problems executing orders at Morgan Stanley from retail clients.
I don't think this was random, said Gavin McGarry, CEO of Jumpwire Media, a San Francisco brand management advisory company. Who benefits? Who was hurt?
McGarry suggested the Facebook snafus, along with the GM move, could have been tied to Republican Party operatives seeking to embarrass President Barack Obama as the presidential campaign gears up.
Facebook is basically aligned with the Democrats, McGarry noted, citing the president's visit to Facebook. Wall Street, he said, is basically aligned with Republicans, like Mitt Romney, who's raising fortunes there.
Indeed, McGarry said he didn't buy either Nasdaq's or Morgan Stanley's claims about mechanical glitches. Traders on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange move their servers closer to the Merc to get quotes a millisecond earlier, he said. Don't tell me Morgan Stanley had problems.
Facebook didn't just set records for enriching inside investors like Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, Accel Partners and Digital Sky Technologies.
The underwriting syndicate led by Morgan Stanley collected a colossal $176 million in underwriting fees, Facebook SEC filings show.
The biggest slice will be taken by Morgan Stanley, followed by JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, with the rest spread among the others including Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Barclay's (London: BARC) and Allen & Co.
Meanwhile, just by stabilizing Facebook shares Friday when they plunged in opening trades, Morgan Stanley made another $100 million. Morgan Stanley shares closed at $13.31 on Thursday, down about 1 percent since Friday.