I am intrigued with the similarity of Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) trading pattern to that of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in its first six months.
As shown in the chart above, AMZN traded as high as $2.50 (split adjusted) on its first day and the plunged by almost 50% to $1.31. It then stabilized and worked its way higher, slowly but surely, until it was up 2x from its low two months later and 5x above its low six months later. Of course now, about 15 years later, it’s trading at almost 200x that initial low.
The companies are quite similar in some ways and very different in others. For both, there was incredible skepticism. It was believed that Amazon was overspending on growth and would never make a profit. I see the same skepticism for Facebook today — a skepticism that I shared when the price was higher right after its IPO. At this level, though, much of the risk has been eased.
More importantly, Amazon went public with about 100 million shares outstanding, and Facebook went public with 1.4 billion shares — a huge difference. So it’ll be much harder for FB to make the kind of gains AMZN did because there are simply a lot more shares to spread earnings over, and expectations are a lot higher than they were for Amazon.
Nevertheless, I think there’s an opportunity for FB to at least close the recent gap and perhaps trade toward the $30-range if optimism is renewed.
Facebook has performed well since co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally did a press interview in which he acknowledged that he needs to run the company like a business and not a dorm room project. (And that he needs to appease investors.)
I’d recommend buying FB on dips under $22; it’s got the potential to skyrocket to a target of $27 as Zuckerberg & Co. changes their game.
Jon Markman operates the investment firm Markman Capital Insights. He also writes a daily swing trading newsletter, Trader’s Advantage.