Facebook: Hope & Litigation

in Corporate
October 25th, 2012

On October 23, Facebook Inc. enjoyed its biggest single-day stock gain since its initial public offering.[1] The Wall Street Journal noted this surge came one day after Facebook announced strong revenue and promising progress from mobile ads.[2]

Facebook stock reached an intraday high of $24.25 and closed at $23.23. On October 22, Facebook stock languished at $19.50, 51.3% of its IPO price of $38.

The company report of its third quarter revenue increase topped analyst expectations. Importantly, sales of mobile ads contributed to 14% of revenue.[3] One year ago, sales of mobile ads did not contribute to revenue.[4] Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he believes in the strong opportunity of mobile products and mobile monetization.[5]

While there is excitement surrounding the mobile space, Facebook faces litigation—41 lawsuits from three different jurisdictions—over its unsuccessful IPO. Recently, on October 4, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation found in Facebook’s favor and granted a consolidation of the 41 cases in the Southern District of New York under Judge Robert W. Sweet.[6]

The Panel’s Transfer Order noted, “Thirty of these actions allege violations of the Securities Act of 1933 (the 1933 Act) or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against movants and various underwriter defendants. Three of these actions assert derivative claims against certain of Facebook’s directors and officers in connection with alleged violations of the 1933 Act.”

Thomas Ajamie, managing partner at Ajamie LLP, said, “In many lawsuits of this type the cases are eventually dismissed by judges on legal grounds, and no damages are awarded. That still might happen here.”[7]

-Daniel Jeng

[1] Somini Sengupta, Facebook Posts Largest Single-Day Gain, N.Y. Times (Oct. 24, 2012).

[2] Matt Jarzemsky, Facebook Shares Nab Biggest Gain Since IPO on Earnings, Analyst Upgrades, Wall St. J. (Oct. 24, 2012), available athttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203897404578076463090723792.html.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] New Legal Review, How Facebook’s IPO spawned a network of litigation, available at http://www.cpaglobal.com/newlegalreview/5358/how_facebook_s_ipo_spawned_a_n.

[7] Id.