Regulators Turning Up the Heat on Facebook’s IPO

Well that didn’t take long. Already the regulatory powers that be are involved with the Facebook (FB) initial public offering.

Less than a week after Facebook went public (and just a few days after founder Mark Zuckerburg’s surprise wedding), the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee launched a preliminary inquiry to address various concerns about the IPO. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also planning on looking into the IPO as well.

That’s because shareholders are concerned that the social networking titan and its underwriters failed to disclose the company’s revised revenue guidance. Apparently, analysts lowered their sales guidance for the second quarter and 2012, and there are rumblings that investment banks working on the IPO may have disclosed this information to top clients before the official launch. Small investors were caught unawares when shares of FB gapped down 9% on its first day of trading, partially compounded by technical glitches in NASDAQ’s order taking system. And, even though it gained some ground today, the stock is still down 23.8% from its initial price.

And in addition to this added regulatory pressure, Facebook and Morgan Stanley (MS) are also the subject of a shareholder lawsuit. At this point no official investigation has been announced, but if regulators decide to pursue this further, it could be a lengthy process involving subpoenas and depositions.

This is unfortunate news for Facebook, but I think that a number of market players saw something like this coming. In fact, last Friday I released a poll on my Facebook Group asking whether members had bought the stock or even had plans to, and the response was overwhelmingly negative:

Nearly 70% of you said that you weren’t planning on touching FB stock, and I agreed—as I discussed in my blog post, What You Need to Know About Friday’s Facebook IPO. The fact is that underneath all of the hype surrounding the IPO there was still too much uncertainty to invest in shares. Not to mention that there are simply too many other exceptional buying opportunities out there right now, especially in consumer stocks.

Until next time,

Louis Navellier

Louis Navellier

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