A day before one of the most anticipated IPOs of the Internet age,
Facebook said Thursday it has priced its shares at $38 apiece, giving
the company an initial valuation of $104 billion, more than the combined
value of Time Warner, Viacom, CBS and Yahoo.
The company will raise $18.4 billion, and the stock will trade on Nasdaq under the symbol “FB” beginning Friday.
Facebook, founded by Mark Zuckerberg and launched in
2004, has been the world’s largest social-networking site since it
surpassed MySpace in January 2009, according to Nielsen. It passed 10
million monthly unique visitors in the U.S. in November 2006 and in
March this year it boasted 152 million uniques, meaning two of every
three Internet users in the U.S. visited the site. In other countries,
such as Brazil, Italy and New Zealand, the ratio of Facebook-to-Internet
users is even higher.