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Facebook Shares Dip Below $20 as Lockout Period Ends

Facebook logo - H 2012

The stock, down 48 percent from its IPO price, means the Internet company is allegedly worth more than Time Warner but not as much as News Corp.

Millions of Facebook investors un-Liked the stock on Thursday.

By the end of erratic trading, Facebook stock dropped 6 percent on volume more than three times the average and closed below $20 for the first time since the company went public in May at $38 a share.

The presumed catalyst for the stock dropping $1.33 to $19.87 as 156 million shares traded hands was the expiration of a lockout period, where insiders were suddenly free to sell as many as 271 million shares, a huge amount given Facebook's public float was about 420 million.

Facebook's plunge leaves the company behind the world's largest social network with a market capitalization of $43 billion, down from more than $100 billion at the stock's peak.

At $43 billion, the company was worth more than Time Warner, Viacom, CBS and Sony on Thursday, but was no longer more valuable than Disney, News Corp or Comcast.

Email: Paul.Bond@thr.com