Facebook: Hot in Silicon Valley, not on Wall Street

(CBS News) On Wall Street today, one closely watched stock -- Facebook -- fell again to just over half its initial public offer price.

After rising on Monday, the social network's stock dipped 85 cents Tuesday, closing at $19.16. Its IPO on May 18th was $38.

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Facebook isn't the only internet company facing a tough market.

Three months ago, Facebook employees cheered as founder Mark Zuckerberg launched the social network as a publicly traded company. For a few hours that day, Facebook was valued at more than $100 billion. Now, it's worth half as that.

Brian Cooley, the editor of the technology tracking website CNET, said the social media bubble may have burst.

Brian Cooley, editor of CNET
CBS News

"It depends on how you're viewing it," Cooley said. "If you're an investor, you could definitely make that argument."

And what's "hot" or "trendy" in Silicon Valley may not be so cool in the stock market.

"Wall Street judges 'hot' differently than the rest of the rest of the world," Cooley said. "It's all about momentum and not necessarily just about size."

With nearly a billion users, Facebook is still huge, but its slowing growth rate has left investors disappointed. The same thing happened with Zynga -- an online gaming company that went public in December at $10 a share and is now trading at just $3. Groupon, the discount coupon site, started at $20 a share and is now trading under $5.

A few months ago, enthusiasm for social media stocks was so high, the State of California figured it would make $1.9 billion in taxes on Facebook stock sales. Now, the cash-strapped state is likely to make far less.

In Silicon Valley, booming house prices were in part attributed to the riches Facebook employees were expecting from the stock offering. Over the next few months, Facebook workers and insiders can begin selling more than a billion shares and that could drive the stock price even lower.

"Their shares are coming on the market," Cooley said. "That's increased supply. That, of course, affects demand and price -- classic economics."

On the day Facebook went public, Mark Zuckerberg sold more than 30 million shares and personally made more than $1 billion.

Other early investors in the company also cashed out that day selling nearly $9 billion worth of shares. The bubble may have burst but not before it proved profitable for some.

  • John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.

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