Facebook Is Valued at $94 Billion in Auction of Shares on Private Market

Facebook Inc. (FB), the social-networking company that’s preparing for an initial public offering, had a valuation of at least $94 billion yesterday in an auction of its shares on the private market.

SharesPost Inc. completed an auction of 100,000 shares of Facebook’s Class B common stock, according to an e-mail obtained by Bloomberg News. The shares were sold for a clearing price of $40 each, valuing the company at $94 billion based on a fully diluted share count of about 2.35 billion, according to SharesPost.

Facebook filed this week to raise at least $5 billion in the largest Internet IPO on record. The Menlo Park, California- based company, with 845 million users worldwide, is considering a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said last week. At the top of the range, Facebook would be the ninth-biggest U.S. technology company by market value.

A $100 billion market capitalization would value Facebook at 26.9 times trailing 12-month sales, more than double Google Inc.’s valuation when the search-engine operator went public in 2004. Revenue at Facebook jumped 88 percent last year to $3.71 billion, while net income climbed by almost two-thirds to $1 billion.

The valuation based on a per-share price of $40 may change depending on the actual share count after the IPO. As of Dec. 31, Facebook had 117.1 million Class A shares and 1.76 billion Class B shares outstanding. Additionally, there are about 380 million restricted stock units that vest at a later date, as well as other shares tied to options and compensation.

Jeremiah Hall, a spokesman for San Bruno, California-based SharesPost, confirmed the auction. Jonathan Thaw, a spokesman for Facebook, declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ari Levy in San Francisco at alevy5@bloomberg.net; Zijing Wu in London at zwu17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net; Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net

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