Facebook Stock Continues To Stay Low

By: Justin Surrency Email
By: Justin Surrency Email
Facebook really can

** FILE ** Facebook.com's mastermind Mark Zuckerberg smiles at his office in Palo Alto, Calif. in this Feb. 5, 2007 file photo. Rapidly rising Internet star Facebook Inc. has sold a 1.6 percent stake to Microsoft Corp. for $240 million, spurning a competing offer from online search leader Google Inc. The deal announced on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007 after several weeks of negotiation values Palo Alto-based Facebook at $15 billion _ less than four years after Mark Zuckerberg started the online social networking site in his Harvard University dorm room. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

CNN -Facebook really can't catch a break. Shares of the social network hit an all-time low Friday after Bank of America-Merrill Lynch analysts lowered their price target and warned of headwinds for the stock.

It's been a rough summer for Facebook. The company's much-hyped IPO in May fell flat as a pancake after Nasdaq (NDAQ) botched Facebook's opening. Since then, the stock has barely come within spitting distance of its $38-a-share IPO price.

Facebook's (FB) stock fell nearly 5% Friday, to a low of $18.19.

The biggest blocker right now, say analysts, is the multiple expiration of lock-up periods, which is when company insiders and major stakeholders can sell their shares.

In Facebook's case, there will be three more times this year, and one early next year, when the market may need to contend with a flood of Facebook stock. More than 40% of shares will be eligible for sale in November.

That could put more selling pressure on Facebook. Just take a look at Zynga (ZNGA). Its stock fell nearly 14% in the week after its lock-up expired.

"Revenue pressure from growing mobile usage, a larger-than-expected social gaming revenue slowdown, higher spending and lock-up expiration are overhangs that, in our view, will continue to impact the stock in 2012," said Bank of America-Merrill Lynch analysts.

But they weren't all doom and gloom. While they did lower their price target to $23, longer term, they expect Facebook's revenue to gain traction.

It just might be a bumpy ride.

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