Facebook shares climb 10% in private auction to $103B valuation

Facebook’s shares climbed 10 percent from a week ago in a private auction that valued the company at $103.4 billion. SharesPost, which arranges sales of shares in privately held companies, said it completed an auction of 150,000 shares of Class B stock today at a clearing price of $44. That’s up 10 percent from a week ago, where shares cleared at $40 with a $94 billion valuation.

Facebook may raise around $5 billion after filing for an initial public offering last week. While we don’t know what the ultimate market capitalization will be, the fact that the shares cleared at a valuation of more than $100 billion suggests that demand may be strong enough to push the company beyond the previously expected range of $75 to $100 billion.

A $103.4 billion valuation would give Facebook a PE ratio of more than 100 and put it at 27.9 times trailing twelve-month sales. Facebook had a net income of slightly more than $1 billion on revenue of $3.71 billion in 2011.

We based the valuation upon a fully diluted share count of around 2.35 billion, which is what Bloomberg used when it reported a similar auction a week ago that implied a $94 billion valuation.

They based it on 117.1 million of Class A shares, 1.76 billion of Class B shares and 380 million shares subject to restricted stock units that were outstanding at the end of last year. Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg also plans to exercise his options and purchase 120 million in Class B shares. There are also 138.5 million shares that are issuable under other options. The share count during the actual initial public offering will likely shift a little from what is projected now.

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