The $19 Billion Dollar Man
After all that hype, Facebook (FB) shares were up only modestly in the first few hours of trading. The biggest ever initial public offering by an Internet company was delayed for half an hour due to a glitch at the Nasdaq exchange, while eager crowds of gawkers outside the exchange's Times Square storefront waited for the open.
With Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg ceremoniously -- and virtually -- "ringing" the bell on the Nasdaq Stock Market from the company's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, Facebook's stock opened around $43 and quickly slipped to under $39, after pricing on Thursday at $38 a share.
The offering, which raised $16 billion for Facebook, caps a meteoric ascent for the company, which Zuckerberg famously launched from his Harvard University dorm only eight years ago. Since then, and despite its fair share of hiccups and persistent questions about the company's long-term growth prospects, Facebook has grown into a global communications platform with more than 900 million users, or roughly 1 in 8 people on Earth.
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