Rumor: Facebook to file $5 billion IPO today

Facebook's rumored $10 billion IPO now is rumored to be only $5 billion, according to reports that also said the company was likely to file its S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission today.

Reuters reported that the amount may eventually increase and said Morgan Stanley would take the lead in the offering. Facebook, meanwhile, was being pursued like a freshman during rush week and had yet to determine if it would list on Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange; reports said it's unlikely to reveal that information in its initial filing today.

If Facebook does file today, the best reading undoubtedly will be its revenue numbers and how it lays out its growth strategy going forward.

Reuters in September reported that the company doubled its sales in the first half of 2011, with revenue of $1.6 billion and profit of about $500 million. The filing will show whether it has maintained its pace.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources said the social networking company could file paperwork to get the ball rolling with the SEC in the next few days.

The WSJ said Facebook likely would select Morgan Stanley rather than Goldman Sachs to lead the transaction.

Facebook, which has some 800 million users, has steadily moved into the online video space, and a major cash infusion would make the company an even more critical player.

In March, the social media Goliath signed a deal to partner with Warner Bros. to allow users to rent content from the studio through the Facebook site using Facebook credits. First up was The Dark Knight. At the time, Goldman Sachs analyst Ingrid Chung said Facebook "could some day be a credible threat to Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)."

Facebook continues to experiment. It has signed deals to stream live major league baseball games during spring training, live FA soccer matches, a Miramax outlet, video-on-demand episodes of Dr. Who and Top Gear and more.

With television viewers increasingly adopting social TV, the Facebook connection could be huge.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Washington Post article

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