Facebook IPO delayed until late 2012, report says

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and president of Facebook, heads to have lunch at the Sun Valley Inn during the 2011 Allen and Co. Sun Valley Conference, July 7, 2011, in Sun Valley, Idaho.

If you already circled a date for a Facebook IPO, get our your eraser. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to delay his company's widely-anticipated initial public offering until late rin 2012, sources told the Financial Times.

The FT report quotes people said to be close to Facebook who say Zuckerberg is keen on delaying the IPO until "next September or later in order to keep employees focused on product developments rather than a pay-out."

If the story proves accurate, Zuckerberg may have a big selling job to do at the next company-wide meeting. Facebook had earlier reined in the ability of employees to dispose of their shares privately to other investors.

Facebook does not disclose financial results but its shares have traded on private markets in advance of an IPO filing. The company's annual revenues were reported to approach $2 billion though that number may be dated. Reuters recently reported that Facebook's sales in the first half of the year approached $1.6 billion. It also said that Facebook's net income in the first half came to nearly $500 million.

Speculation had built in recent months, with many people expecting a Facebook offering sometime during the first quarter of 2012 at a valuation that might exceed $100 billion. In May, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg described a Facebook IPO as being "inevitable," saying it would be "the next thing that happens."

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