Facebook Closes at $31.12; SEC Examines IPO Issues


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Today Facebook shares suffered another day of less than stellar trading. Prices reached a high of $35.59 and dipped to $30.94 at their lowest. The Nasdaq concluded regular trading with the shares at $31.12 and after hours activity reflects a similar price so far. Those who have been keeping track will recall that stock prices climbed to $45 early on the first day of trading, but quickly settled back down to their $38 target price.

Since Monday Facebook shares have been steadily working their way down to the $30 price range. Yesterday trading closed at $34, but today marks their lowest closing price so far. Not only do the numbers reflect a lack of demand for Facebook, but the botched communication issue on opening day of the IPO has created some stress around the integrity of the public markets.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro announced earlier today that they would be looking into problems surrounding the offering in an effort to restore confidence in the market. There hasn't been any word on exactly what the SEC is looking at, but I expect we will hear more from the SEC as the week progresses.

Mary Schapiro commented on the Facebook IPO to some reporters as she left a Senate Banking Committee hearing earlier today:

“I think there is a lot of reason to have confidence in our markets and in the integrity of how they operate, but there are issues that we need to look at specifically with respect to Facebook,”

I suppose there's really only a few things she could be referring to as far as an investigation might go. The first being Nasdaq's highly-publicized communication breakdown between them and the big bank trading desks. If your remember, it left everyone involved wondering who bought what, and at what price. So that probably deserves a second look.

The next thing the SEC might want to investigate is Morgan Stanley's financial forecast for Facebook revenue. Apparently a revised version was released during the IPO roadshow sometime last week. It revealed huge revenue losses for Facebook and projected into late 2012. This supposedly caused many who had the inside scoop to delay their previous plans to purchase shares of the social networking giant.