Facebook Shares Dip Below $20 as Lockout Period Ends


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

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