Facebook started off February 2012 with its highest implied valuation yet: $102.3 billion thanks to a share price of $44. That price dropped to $40 at the end of the month in the most recent SharesPost auction, leaving the social networking giant with an implied valuation of $93.1 billion, assuming some 2.33 billion outstanding shares.
For a while now, employees and early stakeholders have been selling shares privately on SecondMarket and SharesPost. Most of these have been in the valuation range of $80 billion but ever since the company's IPO numbers became public, the valuations are much higher and auction failures have stopped happening. The second market is different, but nevertheless, it still gives you a good idea if a company's valuation is decreasing or increasing.
Here's the relevant part of the e-mail SharesPost sent out regarding the auction:
SharesPost Financial Corporation completed its auction of 125,000 shares of the Class B Common Stock of Facebook, Inc. on February 29, 2012. A clearing price of $40.00 per share was established at the auction.
It's key to remember that we won't know what the company's actual valuation is until right before the offering is made, which typically occurs about three months after the company files for its IPO. Indeed, the latest rumor slates May 2012 as the expected timeframe for Facebook going public. Facebook will likely restrict transactions as the date of the public offering nears, but until then the numbers will keep fluctuating like crazy.