Facebook lost 0.6 percent to $28.66, after yesterday slipping below $30 for the first time. The recent slide in the stock that has cost investors $25 billion may not end until the shares drop another 20 percent, leaving the company’s valuation on par with competitors that also do business over the Internet.
Facebook, with a market capitalization of $79.1 billion, is trading at 29.5 times the company’s projected 2014 profit of $2.69 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The stock would have to dive to $23.07 to match the average price-to-earnings ratio for the Nasdaq Internet Index based on estimated earnings in the next 12 months, according to the data.
Facebook yesterday extended losses from the worst- performing large initial public offering during the past decade to 24 percent. Investors have pummeled the shares, citing concern over growth prospects for the largest social-networking service. Shareholders filed lawsuits that said the company and its underwriters overpriced Facebook at $38 a share. The IPO gave Facebook a higher multiple than 99 percent of the S&P 500.
“It could fall quite significantly because it was priced at a significant premium,” Sameet Sinha, an analyst at B. Riley & Co., said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Such stocks -- when they go out of favor -- tend to fall before stabilizing.”
Some stocks rallied on analysts’ ratings changes. LinkedIn Corp., the biggest professional-networking website, added 1.7 percent to $101.67 as Citigroup recommended buying the shares. Wynn Resorts Ltd., the casino company founded by billionaire Steve Wynn, advanced 1.3 percent to $106 after being raised to buy at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.