Wednesday, May 2,2012 : FACEBOOK TO GO PUBLIC ON MAY 18
 
Investor road show begins next week
 
The Wall Street Journal reports that the social networking giant Facebook will go public on 18 May, describing the upcoming IPO as "one of the most highly anticipated tech initial public offerings since Google went public in August 2004."
 
Company officials, possibly including founder-owner Mark Zuckerberg, are set to start the investor roadshow next Monday, according to people familiar with the matter.
 
The Menlo Park, California-based company is seeking to raise about $5 billion in the offering, giving the entire company a value of about $100 billion.
 
Facebook last month announced it is buying Instagram, the company behind a popular mobile photo-sharing application with the same name, for $1 billion, its largest acquisition ever.
 
Facebook has declined to comment on the report of an impending IPO.
 
Analysts point out that during the first quarter, Facebook’s net income fell 12 percent, weighed down by higher expenses even as its revenue soared. Net income fell to $205 million in the three months that ended 31 March, from $233 million a year earlier, while net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $137 million from $153 million. Revenue rose 45 percent to $1.06 billion.
 
The company had 901 million monthly active users as of 31 March, up from 845 million as of the end of 2011.