Facebook Files for IPO, Looks to Raise $5 Billion

UPDATED: The social networking firm reported a profit of $1 billion for 2011, disclosed that CEO Mark Zuckerberg owns a 28.4 percent stake and said its ticker symbol will be FB.

NEW YORK - Facebook made things official on Wednesday afternoon, filing the initial prospectus for its much-anticipated IPO.

The social networking giant said it is looking to raise $5 billion by going public, but the funds raised could well go higher depending on investor demand.

Facebook also offered a first glimpse at its financials. The filing listed a profit of $1.0 billion for 2011, up from $606 million in the previous year. Earnings attributable to Class A and B shareholders rose from $372 million to $668 million. Revenue of $3.71 billion was up from $1.97 billion in 2010. It also said it has 845 million active monthly users.

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Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the largest shareholder, owns a voting stake in the company of 28.2 percent, or 56.9 percent including stock over which Zuckerberg has an "irrevocable proxy," Facebook's filing also showed. That means that his stake would be worth more than $28 billion if the company ends up valued at the high end of the $75 billion-$100 billion range that some reports have previously suggested. 

Venture capital James Breyer, who last year joined the board of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., owns a stake of 11.4 percent, the second largest stake in the firm. Along with other Facebook board members, Netflix boss Reed Hastings is also listed as a shareholder, but he owns less than a 1 percent stake.

The IPO filing showed Zuckerberg's compensation package for 2011 amounted to $1.49 million, including a salary of $483,333 and a $220,5000 bonus. COO Sheryl Sandberg, who owns less than 1 percent in the company, made $30.9 million, driven by $30.5 million in stock awards.

Facebook didn't immediately say how many shares it plans to list on the stock exchange and at what price. Such details are typically detailed the night before a stock starts trading. In Facebook's case, that is expected to be around May.

The social network also didn't say on which stock exchange it expects to trade its shares, but said its ticker symbol will be FB. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have competed for recent technology and entertainment IPOs.

The IPO filing did show, however, that Facebook is somewhat reliant on social gaming giant Zynga, which went public in December. Facebook got 12 percent of its revenue, or $445 million, from Zynga last year.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai