Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) pulled off its initial public offering, and it wasn’t without its drama — the deal suffered a 30-minute delay before finally launching. That might have been an omen that today wasn’t going to be as superlative as many had been betting.
FB shares opened up with about a 12% pop, hitting $42, which put a roughly $115 billion valuation on the company in the opening minutes. But after that, the price fluctuated throughout the day within a narrow range.
After sliding back to around the offering price at midday it was up again in afternoon trading to about $40, or 5% higher. But as the regular-hours trading day ended, Facebook has dropped again near to its opening price, closing up at $38.23 cents, or 0.6% higher. All in all, some 567 million shares changed hands today, and the stock went virtually nowhere.
Other social media stocks were feeling no love from the “Facebook effect,” with Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) in particular whacked by double digits. The shares’ trading was halted at one point today, and they closed at $7.16, 13.4% lower. Pandora (NYSE:P) ended down 75 cents, or about 7%.
One interesting note is that in 2006, Zuckerberg actually had a deal in place to sell Facebook to Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) for $1 billion. The transaction fell through because Yahoo had a bad quarter.
Now, Facebook is worth six times Yahoo. Zuck & Co. can only hope that this spread doesn’t start narrowing as time goes by.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings.