That’s the valuation that the king of social media hopes investors will accept as it considers whether to make one of the biggest public stock offerings ever this spring, The Wall Street Journal reports. The paper says that Mark Zuckerberg’s company wants to raise $10B and could file documents at the SEC to begin the process by the end of this year. Visa, General Motors, and AT&T Wireless are the only U.S. companies that have collected more than $10B in an initial public offering. Up to now, Zuckerberg has been cool to the idea of going public, which would require Facebook to disclose a lot of information about its finances. But he may have to give the public a peek even if he keeps the company private: He’ll have more than 500 investors by year end, the Journal says, and the SEC requires companies that cross that threshold to open up about some of their numbers. The figures are sure to be impressive: The company is believed to generate more than $4B a year in revenue.
The big question is how quickly and profitably Facebook can continue to grow. It had more than 124B U.S. page views in October, up 102% from the same month last year and far ahead of runner up Google with 54.9B, according to comScore. Domestic Web users spend about 15% of their time with Facebook, which also eclipses Google which claims 10.5%. Still, investors are becoming skeptical that Internet darlings can continue to justify eye-popping valuations: Groupon has lost nearly 40% of its market value since it went public early this month, and LinkedIn is down nearly 38% from its in initial offering in May.
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