Facebook’s common stock plunged to a new low on high trading volume as original shareholders seized their first opportunity to sell their shares since the May IPO. On Thursday, the 90 day lockout period on original shareholders selling ended as shares FB dropped 6.37% to close below $20. Analysts are mixed on how to play the drop with some seeing this as a golden buying opportunity for an undervalued stock and others seeing this as another example of instability and uncertainty in the young company.
It has been anything but a walk in the park for Facebook as the most anticipated IPO in recent memory has been plagued since its first day on the market. Trading glitches at the open led to a slew of class action suits from disgruntled investors as Facebook and Nasdaq tried to shift the blame to one another. Moreover, the stock spent the summer trading well below its initial price of $43 as negative publicity about privacy concerns, and the maturity of the company was compounded by pressure from short sellers.
Additionally, legal pressure against Facebook’s privacy policies increased in recent days and weeks in the wake of an FTC settlement. The ninth circuit is reconsidering a previously dismissed lawsuit which alleged improper use and sale of private user data. The dismissed lawsuit is getting a second look as FTC allegations and a Facebook settlement has bolstered the plaintiff’s case.