The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

nobody “Likes” Facebook other than Mark Zuckerberg

May23

if you can’t be bothered to read this entire post because your tearing your hair-out over Facebook – and Barack Obama, just consider this opening paragraph:

I TOLD you to short Facebook – http://j.mp/JXtQwP. but, NASADAQ “broke” (seriously) /1. so, nobody could. the stock might make sense at $9.  and, now Mark Zuckerberg and his crew are going to choke on their greed and the type of avarice that spawned the hell that Facebook creates daily in everyone’s lives.

but, you’re hooked now, so just keep going…

as you read this, regulators are examining whether Morgan Stanley, the investment bank that shepherded Facebook through its highly publicized stock offering last week, selectively informed clients of an analyst’s negative report about the company before the stock started trading.

the stock debut, originally set for 11 a.m. EDT Friday, was delayed more than half an hour because of “technical problems” at Nasdaq. some brokerages were still sorting out the aftermath today. just so we are clear… the “technical problem” had a lot to do with the fact that insiders were dumping their shares faster than Secret Service agents rearview mirroring their red-skirted girl friends when the lights came on.

I already knew that was both inevitable, and was going to happen. I have over two hundred emails from people grimly advising me that they tried to follow my guidance and short Facebook’s stock. but, NASDAQ won’t allow that, yet. trust me, that’s a whole other story in the realizing. so, watch for that.

in the harsh light of truth, companies going public typically want the momentum and desirable status that comes with stock being so coveted that the price rockets from the launch pad. that might be fair. but…

“I think that the underwriters convinced Facebook to offer too much stock,” said analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities. “The market didn’t have sufficient appetite for the number of shares offered.”

[pause]

did you know that market trackers have reported that people are much more likely to click on ads at Google than at Facebook, and US auto giant General Motors said the day before the IPO that it would no longer advertise on Facebook because it lacked impact? that evidently inspired an analyst at Morgan Stanley to drop his earnings forecast for Facebook on the eve of the IPO, but nobody let that information out of the bag, and left wanna-be shareholders holding another bag.

[end pause]

to wit…

The Reuters news service reported Tuesday that a Morgan Stanley analyst, Scott Devitt, cut his estimate for Facebook’s revenue this year to $4.85 billion from more than $5 billion earlier. Reuters reported that it was unclear whether Morgan Stanley had told only select clients about the reduced estimate. Reuters reported that the analyst cut his figures for Facebook while the company’s executives, including founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, were shopping the stock to potential investors in the weeks ahead of the IPO, a process known in investing as a “road show”.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday night that Facebook’s chief financial officer, David Ebersman, decided shortly before the stock debut to raise the number of shares the company would offer by 25 percent. The Journal, citing people familiar with the planning of the stock offering, also reported that Morgan Stanley had assured Ebersman there was plenty of demand for the stock.

meanwhile, you all knew this was coming (the Greek- like tragedy that is the Facebook IPO, the “Zuckerberg generation” [I made that up, but it will stick], the pending Wall Street Journal expose, etc). but, faithful readers of this Blog know I’m not jumping on a facebook-dissing bandwagon, here, and had already started slapping their collective knees with me back when I wrote the following posts:

Facebook’s contribution to Terrorism.

“in any event, I’m, admittedly, a bit weary of using Facebook as a punching bag. however, I won’t tire of being relentless when it comes to pointing out that Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook Mafia (this can be stated in something of positive light because it’s a reference to the wealth generated by the Facebook insiders and how they are seeding countless other venture at unprecedented speed) have it within their collective power to use the Facebook platform for good. but, right now, with millions of examples over the course of any given day, it’s being used for a lot of evil, and mostly in the hands of ignorant children.” Source: http://www.unsinkablebriancork.com (http://s.tt/14HTR)

Facebook is on a Mission but not from God.

so, it’s interesting (to me, any way) that Facebook and other forms of religion have similar global strategies.

why Facebook might be a great bad story.

“but, Zuckerberg, and the people around him, know this is a problem. and, every day makes it bigger and uglier.” Source: http://www.unsinkablebriancork.com (share this quote)

the distortion field of social media and marketing and it’s impact on marketing.

“…have you noticed that most photographs have him staring soullessly into the camera?” Source: http://www.unsinkablebriancork.com (http://s.tt/14fz8)

Facebook is dead to Me.

“Zuckerberg has made billions of dollars, and I’m sure he feels great about that. but, I hope one day he understands what he has unleashed upon a culture that was unprepared for his platform to be used as a weapon of mass destruction.” Source: http://www.unsinkablebriancork.com (http://s.tt/14I49)

the SEC had already said on Friday that it was looking into problems surrounding the IPO. on Tuesday, the agency’s chairman, Mary Schapiro, said: “I think there is a lot of reason to have confidence in our markets and in the integrity of how they operate, but there are issues that we need to look at specifically with respect to Facebook.”

by Monday, the top securities regulator for Massachusetts, William Galvin, said he had subpoenaed Morgan Stanley. Galvin said his office is investigating whether Morgan Stanley divulged to only some clients that one of its analysts had cut his revenue estimates for Facebook before the stock hit the market on Friday.

on Tuesday, Robert Greifeld, the CEO of the Nasdaq Stock Market, acknowledged to shareholders of Nasdaq’s parent company that “clearly we had mistakes within the Facebook listing.”

a spokesman for Facebook Inc., which is based in Menlo Park, Calif., said late Tuesday that the company had no comment.

but, I’m guessing Mark Zuckerberg isn’t going to “like” any of this.

right about the time the IPO was being unleashed upon the masses, the Facebook/ Morgan Stanley/ Goldman Sachs/ Satan PR machine kicked-in. we saw short-stories quoting Zuckerberg saying things to the effect, “I don’t care about shareholders, I care about the company and it’s vision”. but, he left-out the bit about his owning fifty-seven percent of the companies stock. so, that simply means he is an insider that cares about himself. we also learned that he married his long-time sweetheart partner co-conspirator from college. but, unfortunately he managed to time that like an estate planning event, which it was. so much for true love American greedy style. I sincerely hope his little marriage gets off to a better start than the colossal IPO. but, then she knew him when he ripped-off his early partners, and she knows him better as he steam-rolled his shareholders.

isn’t there a law in this land that says a wife doesn’t have to testify against her husband?

so…

while Facebook has fallen well below its IPO price, valuation metrics still show the stock is still pretty expensive.

at roughly thirty six dollars ($36), Facebook shares are trading at fifty-seven (57) times projected earnings for the next 12 months. I got this information from FactSet Research (and, forget about the trailing 12-month earnings PE; that’s at 73.50.) this is a much richer valuation than other tech titans that actually create things of value, suggesting the stock price remains too high relative to projected earnings, and could (probably) fall further. price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios are calculated by taking a stock’s price and dividing it by the company’s earnings per share. for instance, Google (why not?) trades at a forward P/E multiple of 14, meaning one Facebook share is more than four times as expensive as a share of Google. Apple’s forward P/E is 11.6, and Microsoft is 10.8. Cisco Systems trades at a forward P/E of 9 and Dell is at 7.1. but, I’ll tell you to buy Apple, Cisco, even Microsoft. but, again, I think Facebook is probably worth a look once it hits nine dollars ($9) a share.

I want to be reasonably fair… thusly, it’s probably worth noting a high P/E multiple doesn’t necessarily mean the (or any) stock is destined to decline. Amazon has a forward-year P/E ratio of 182. I’m thinking that aggressive spending has crimped the online retailer’s profits, but investors have found the company’s strong sales growth appealing enough to keep bidding the stock higher. the stock is up 25% this year.

Salesforce.com is another stock that has had a rich multiple for years. the stock trades at eighty-nine (89) times forward earnings, yet shares are up forty three percent (43%) this year. mind you, companies that invest in Salesforce don’t actually use it. most people in sales refer to it as “salesfarce”. but, risk-averse sales managers think they are supposed to buy it, so they do. that works for shareholders even while it might not bode well for corporate America.

I’m no hypocrite. and, I do see the world differently, and from unique angles, compared to most (that’s why I get to be a Cultural Architect, and you don’t). I see Facebook for what it is. it’s easily described as a platform for cheating spouses and cyber-bullying. it’s a company where engineers develop products that we don’t need. people just want them because they feed our vices. so, why should anyone really be surprised that Zuckerberg and a bunch of Wall Street hooligans that are probably in their early to mid thirties used the company to punk the zombie-like thundering herds that think wealth-building is attached to an easy-button?

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

1/ consider this… Monday shares briefly climbed above $42 before skittering back down and finishing at $38.23 with the help of underwriting banks that essentially put a floor under the stock by buying back shares when they dipped to the opening price. that means Morgan Stanley stepped-in and bought a lot of the shares that people were dumping. they played a key role in over-touting the opening price and are paying another price.

“It’s hard to know what would have happened if the banks hadn’t stepped in,” said Lou Kerner of the Social Internet Fund, raising questions about what will happen to Facebook’s share price when the Nasdaq reopens on Monday.

well… I’m guessing Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs probably got in around $10 to $12. so, that is the real bottom, and likely where the stock was heading if someone had not ‘broken” the system and created artificial buying.

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brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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