Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has defined itself as one of the leading social media companies in the world. As of October 25, 2019, it has a market capitalization of $536 billion and is one of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization. Facebook has a market cap that is nearly 20 times larger than that of its competitors, Twitter Incorporated and LinkedIn Corporation (now owned by Microsoft).

If you would have invested $1,000 into Facebook right after its initial public offering (IPO), you would have purchased 26 shares of its common stock. Let's see how much those shares would be worth today.

Key Takeaways

  • Facebook has become the dominant social media platform on the planet, with nearly 2.5 billion registered users.
  • The company was founded in 2004, and went public via IPO in 2012 with a share price of $38. The price dropped to under $18 a share early on before rising to where it is today.
  • If you had invested $1,000 in FB at either its IPO price or all-time low, today you would be a very happy investor indeed.

If You Would Have Invested in Facebook After Its IPO

Facebook made its long-awaited filing for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on Feb. 1, 2012. Prior to its initial public offering, Facebook Incorporated stated it had net income of $1 billion in 2011, which was an increase of 65% from 2010. The company also stated it had 845 million monthly active users and 483 million daily active users as of Dec. 31, 2011.

On May 18, 2012, Facebook held its initial public offering and, at that time, it was the largest technology IPO in U.S. history. Facebook offered 421,233,615 shares at a price of $38 per share and raised $16.007 billion through that offering.

Assuming you would have been able to purchase shares at $38, despite the offering being pervaded with trading issues, you would currently have 26 shares, or $1,000 divided by $38. As of July 24, 2015, shares of Facebook Incorporated closed at $96.95. In three years’ time, you would have a return on investment of 155.13%, or ($96.95 * 26 shares - $38 * 26 shares) / ($38 * 26 shares). As of July 24, 2015, that investment would be worth $2,520.70, or $96.95 * 26 shares.

However, Facebook did not staircase higher. Rather, the stock fell over $20 from the IPO price to $17.55 per share on Sept. 4, 2012. At this low, your return on investment would have been -53.82%, or ($17.55 * 26 shares) - ($38 * 26 shares) / ($38 * 26 shares). Some analysts and traders believe the company was overvalued and the IPO was priced too high, which led to the crash.

So, what if you had bought $1,000 of FB shares at its IPO and held on to it until today? With a share price of $188 as of October 25, 2019 your 26 shares that you paid $1,000 for would now be worth: $4,888 - gain of nearly 5x on the original investment.

What If You Bought at the All-Time Low

Assume that instead of selling Facebook near its all-time low, like some investors did, you placed a good 'til canceled limit order on FB for 56 shares at $17.73 per share before Sept. 4, 2012. On Sept. 4, 2012, Facebook closed at $17.73 per share, and therefore, you would have been filled on those 56 shares. Instead of owning a mere 26 shares, the extra $992.88 investment would have allowed you to purchase 56 more shares before fees and expenses. You would have 82 shares of Facebook and brought down your average price of $38 per share to only $24.16 per share, or ($38 * 26 shares) + ($17.73 * 56 shares) / (26 shares + 56 shares).

After 2012, Facebook traded sideways and never traded above its IPO price until July 31, 2013. This was due to Facebook's surprise beat on its earnings per share, or EPS, for the quarter ending May 2013. Facebook reported quarterly earnings per share of $0.13, while analysts were expecting an EPS of $0.09. Facebook has traded in an uptrend since July 31, 2013, and hit an all-time high of $99.24 on July 21, 2015.

So, what if you had bought $1,000 of FB shares at its all-time low and held on to it until today? Your 56 shares that you bought would be worth $10,526 - more than a 10x return on investment.

The Bottom Line

Although Facebook experienced ups and downs after its IPO, if you stuck through the roller coaster ride and reinvested, you would have a return on investment of 301.33%, or ($96.95 * 82 shares) - ($24.16 * 82 shares) / ($24.16 * 82 shares). Your investment of $1,980.88 would have been worth $7,949.90 on July 24, 2015.