Facebook's IPO Valuation Should Be $25B

I would like to take you through a simple math equation for determining the fair value of Facebook before its IPO filing tomorrow without comparing growth metrics.  Here are my assumptions when comparing Facebook, while using Google as the benchmark.  Google's annual revenue is $37 billion with a market capitalization of $188 billion currently as of January, 31, 2012.

Google's annual display ad revenue from Double Click is only $5 billion + they have $32 billion of additional revenue sources.  That means if Google only had the display ad business similar to Facebook their valuation would be 1/8 or less or around $25B.  Here is the scary part when you start to look at Facebook's proposed IPO valuation of $100B with 88% of its revenue coming from one source.

Facebook simple valuation equation based on current estimates:

Google Market Cap = $188B at $580 per share
Google Total Annual Revenue = $37B
Google Display Ad Revenue = $5B

Facebook Market Cap = $100B
Facebook Total Annual Revenue = $5
Facebook Display Ad Revenue = $4.8
Facebook Fair Value Equation = ($37 / $5 = .135) x $188 = $25B

The latest news sources reported that Facebook annual display ad revenues were around $3.8B in 2011 and so I will assume this revenue number has grown to $5B in 2012.  $5B in annual revenue for Facebook is 1/8 the the size of Google's with $37B.  Facebook has 88% of its revenue coming  from display ads only which is not very diversified if you ask me.  Keep in mind this does not factor in growth rates but they cannot be that dramatic to change my valuation estimates. 

S&P Low 666 (2009) x 2 = High 1332 (2012)

S&P Low in 2009 of 666 x 2 = 1332 High in 2012
The rigged stock market will undoubtedly become a key issue in the 2012 Presidential race.  The Obama administration will promote the fact that the stock market is up almost 100% since he took office in 2008.  Mitt Romney is going to attack the fact that the market is up 100% but so is the unemployment rate that went from 5% to 10%.  Pick your poison.  The Federal Reserve's balance sheet is bloated and helped to rig the stock and bond market game.  How will it end in the next few years and what is the best path to long term free market prosperity and organic economic growth in the U.S.?

The stock market has become a rigged game in the last few years.  It is be propped up by the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke's team by printing unlimited dollars to buy futures and bonds in the open market.  Bond prices are artificially low in order to encourage people spend and not save.  However, the smart people running big corporations are sitting on hoards of cash earning 0%.  Its because the market has been propped up in a phony way and there is no organic growth.  Executives are expecting a stock market crash of grand proportion that will wipe out all of the Government businesses that have been propped up.  Cash will be king in the future and there will be no safe havens.  Its just a matter of time before the huge "House of Cards" bonds and stocks all fall at the same time wiping out the wealth that has been artificially created.

Yes, the United States can print endless amounts of money in order to create inflation and promote growth.  The experts think we can grow our way out of the debt crisis and reduce the current 100% debt to GDP ratio that has doubled under the Obama administration.  However, the austerity in Europe is nothing compared to what we might see in the U.S. if Mitt Romney gets elected and the Federal Reserve money printing press is halted.  It will be painful in the short term but the long term gain for my kids and grandchildren will be tremendous.   The U.S. Government must feel the pain of overspending and let the free markets take over their bloated and egregious spending habits.   Don't forget Mitt Romney has been a private equity / restructuring guy in the private sector and will have the biggest turnaround project of all time on his hands once he pulls the Fed plug.

Mitt Romney knows that a healthy economy will grow through organic investment and capitalism at the local level.  In healthily economies the Venture Capital & Private Equity industries thrive and so do quality IPO's that foster the cycle of wealth that has built the foundation of the United States.  However, the recent financial crisis has led the Government to step in and act as the market "Big Brother" to prevent big investors from losing money.  The VC industry and private equity industries are shrinking drastically because large LP's (limited partners) have no incentive to invest with below 0% annual returns due to overbearing Government regulations.  We all know in healthy free markets there are winners and losers.  However, now the losers are being prevented from losing and this is not capitalism.  Bailouts have been preventing huge bankruptcies and progress towards creating new and more efficient businesses.  

Thousands of banks should have gone out of business and so should have many of the auto companies like General Motors.  Restructuring and bankruptcies are all part of the free market cycle and we have yet to go through it on a large scale downturn.  The 2009 downturn was prevented by the Government by double its debt load in the trillions and now the next recession could be even worse and deeper.

In summary the only thing that is going to help the economy in the long run build a foundation of growth that is sustainable is if the Government simply gets out of the way.  We investors are all "Big Boys" and taking loses is part of the game.   Trying to impose regulations on the financial services industry to prevent loses only restricts the free market capital flows and prevents investors from doing anything.  We need investors to be excited about investing and now restricted.  These two bills / laws need to be repealed by the next President and then you will see healthy organic investment growth come back to the private sector.

1)  Repeal Sarbanes Oxley
2)  Repeal Dodd Frank Bill  

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