Facebook Files for $5 Billion IPO

Today, on its eight birthday, Facebook has officially filed for a $5 billion initial public offering. You can view the official S-1 filing here. Kara Swisher reports for AllThingsD:

Here’s the major stats on Facebook’s IPO filing: 845 million users and 483 million daily users; annual revenue $3.7 billion; $1.8 billion in operating income and $1 billion net income.

Considering the characteristically underwhelming performance (and questionable decision-making) of recent technology IPOs, Facebook's offering and earnings provide a relative breath of fresh air.

For the first time, the public has access to Facebook's internal structure, profits, and ownership. Chris Ziegler at The Verge writes:

Mark Zuckerberg himself has been revealed to own an astounding 28.4 percent of the company, which — if stories of a $100 billion valuation are correct — would put his net worth near $30 billion. The filing notes that Zuck controls "a majority" of voting stock, which means he wields an extraordinary amount of power inside the company (not to say there was ever any doubt of that). He's got a base salary of $500,000, peanuts for a man who ranks as one of the wealthiest on the planet; COO Sheryl Sandberg clocks in at $300,000. As you can imagine, those figures don't tell the full story once you factor in stock benefits: Sandberg had total compensation last year of $30 million, Zuckerberg (a surprisingly low) $1.5 million.

Nothing particularly shocking has been found so far within the company's filing, with several fruitless references to Apple and Twitter providing only basic intrigue. One interesting nugget is that 12% of Facebook's revenue stems from Zynga's games alone. Considering Zynga's poor performance in the market, such a detail provides interesting juxtaposition between the middling and questionable IPOs of 2011 and Facebook's massive IPO to kick off 2012.

Details and opinions of Facebook aside, it is encouraging to see a dorm room startup achieve such atmospheric success. From its humble beginnings eight years ago, Facebook has evolved into an enormously profitable and influential entity. Of course, Facebook boasts a great many flaws, but just for today, it's positive to see such numbers and focus fall upon a relatively new Silicon Valley entity.

Facebook's rise provides a welcome endorsement of modern Internet business, and underlines the correct criteria for a good IPO, as opposed to a possibly good one. Regardless of any issues with Facebook itself, that is certainly not a negative thing to instill in the marketplace.

Facebook will trade under the symbol, "FB."