Yesterday, Facebook's much-ballyhooed initial public offered sputtered, closing at $38.23, just 23 cents above it's offering price. Which was red meat to the New York Post!
The investment banks underwriting the IPO were instrumental in propping up the price to avoid embarrassment. As the Wall Street Journal reports, "Morgan Stanley, which led the platoon of 11 Wall Street banks that arranged the listing, had to dip into an emergency reserve of around 63 million Facebook shares—worth more than $2.3 billion at the offer price—to boost the price and create a floor around $38 a share, according to people close to the situation. In successful IPOs, the reserve, known as the "overallotment" or "green shoe," is used by underwriters to meet soaring demand but in this case, it was used to prop up Facebook's ailing share price."
But there's a silver lining: "Still, at a market capitalization of nearly $105 billion by day's end, Facebook took its place among the nation's corporate giants. Its stock market capitalization makes Facebook bigger than computer firm Hewlett-Packard Co., and puts it in the same league as PepsiCo Inc."