Facebook Inc.’s entry into the public markets was a rocky one, with tech problems at Nasdaq at the outset and a stock price that lost nearly half its value in the weeks following, burning small investors and some institutions.
What a difference four years makes: On Wednesday, the fourth anniversary of the botched IPO, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) opened at $117 per share. That’s a 207 percent increase from its IPO price of $38. Facebook is now valued at over $330 billion, a 217 percent increase from the valuation of its initial public offering of $104 billion.
In the years since, the social media network has become a wildly successful public company, with profits growing in the triple digits. Facebook turned in a record $1.56 billion in profit for the October-December quarter of 2015, a 123 percent increase year over year. Last quarter, the company secured $1.5 billion in profit.
It’s no wonder that company has earned its place among the vaunted "FANG" stocks: Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.
In large part, Facebook’s success can be attributed to an effective transition from a largely desktop PC business to a mobile one, aided by the acquisitions of mobile-first apps like WhatsApp and Instagram. The company made big bets on mobile ad revenue at a time when much of the tech world was a still skeptical that tiny smartphone screens could ever be monetized. By the end of last year, mobile ads surpassed 80 percent of Facebook’s revenue.
Now, the stock price is in Facebook’s favor as it proves its worth beyond speculation and instead with hard profits. The stock and the revenue propelling it forward are fueled by Facebook’s growing user base — now half of all internet users around the world — and a successful advertising business, primarily on mobile.