The social networking giant Facebook has recently been scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission and consumers alike, but the company does not seem to flinch.
The Federal Trade Commission settled claims with Facebook over deceptive tactics and unclear privacy settings that allowed the company to sell and exploit users' information. Members have also complained about recent changes to Facebook's format from a traditional profile to a Timeline. With the newest Facebook Timeline, many users ask themselves, Is it time to jump ship?
One would think that the social networking site highly dependent on its 800 million users would respect the privacy and wishes of its growing member base, rather than exploit their privacy and offer half-hearted apologies. Facebook after all makes money predominantly from advertising, applications and selling virtual goods.
However, despite complaints and concerns, it seems the company is swimming in cash.
But how much is Facebook worth, exactly?
A source with knowledge of Facebook's finances told Gawker that Facebook might be doing even better than investors expect -- a promising outlook for the company which has shown interest in floating an IPO offering in 2012.
A close look at Facebook's finances revealed by the source show that from January 2011 to September 2011 the company had over $5.6 billion in assets, $3.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents, zero debt and shareholder equity of about $4.5 billion. The company's operating cash flow is an estimated $1 billion with revenue at $2.5 billion. Estimated operating income is $1.2 billion with net income at $714 million.
Ownership of the company is mixed and divided between employees, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and investors. The break-down includes: Employees: 30 percent, Mark Zuckerberg: 24 percent, Digital Sky Technologies: 10 percent, Accel Partners: eight percent (had 10 percent but sold two percent), Dustin Moskowitz: six percent, Eduardo Saverin: five percent, Sean Parker: four percent, Goldman Sachs clients: three percent, Microsoft: 1.3 percent, Peter Thiel and/or Clarium Capital: three percent, Greylock Partners: 1.4 percent, Meritech Capital Partners: 1.6 percent, Chris Hughes: one percent, Li Ka-shing: 0.75 percent, Interpublic Group: 0.50 percent, Goldman Sachs: 0.8 percent.
A look at finances from other internet companies in 2010 proves that Facebook is hugely successful, on par with major companies like Amazon and Yahoo!
In 2010, Amazon had $6.4 billion in cash and short term investments and $13.8 in total assets. Yahoo had $3.3 billion in cash and short term investments and $14.9 billion in total assets. Facebook at $3.5 billion in cash and $5.6 billion is more successful than some major tech companies like AMD, Adobe and Novell had in 2010.
Only time will tell if the company can maintain its competitive edge over Google+, Twitter and other social networking sites, but it seems, for now, that Facebook has a business model that yields, if nothing else, a lot of cash.