Facebook steals the record for fastest company to reach $250 billion market cap from Google
Since the time social networking giant went public in May 2012, for the first time on Monday, Facebook topped the market cap by closing above the $250 billion-mark in just over three years. The social network company’s 2.4 percent climb has made it the first company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to breach that market cap so quickly. The previous record was held by Google Inc., which took them about eight years to reach there.
Facebook’s rapid rise may point out investor confidence that the company will persist in increasing mobile-advertising sales on its application and others. To some extent, the increase in value also reflects froth in tech stocks; since Facebook went public, the Nasdaq Internet Index has almost doubled.
Facebook’s shares trade at 87 times earnings, almost five times the average in the S&P 500. At the same time, companies in the Nasdaq Internet Index trade at a price-earnings ratio of 27. Facebook is now the ninth-biggest company in the S&P 500 with a market value of $253 billion, which is bigger than Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., that took decades to grow as valuable.
“When you see stocks with these high multiples, it shows you the market’s comfort in the longer-term growth story,” said Paul Sweeney, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “Investors think Facebook is more valuable than the average Nasdaq stock.”
After its IPO in May 2012, the company’s stock lost more than half its value in the first four months. Hence, the company’s quick rise to $90.10 a share on Monday is even more striking. Starting with a $104.2 billion IPO, Facebook did not have to climb as far as some other companies did to reach $250 billion.
Revenue from Advertising,from which the company gets more than 90 percent of its sales rose by 46 percent to $3.32 billion in the first quarter from the previous year. More than two-thirds of that came from mobile ad sales. Analysts estimate that mobile ad sales rose by 37 in the second quarter. Q2 results will be reported on July 29.
Earnings estimates in the first quarter of 2015 was topped by Facebook. For the three-month period ending Mar 31, 2015, the company’s net income was $1.19 billion, up 28 percent versus $926 million in 2014’s first quarter. Mobile advertising that made up 73 percent of the social giant’s advertising was up from 59 percent at the same time a year ago.
In the long run, the company has plans to serve ads on websites and other applications to generate money from its quickly growing Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram apps. Facebook also is banking on its $2 billion purchase of Oculus VR Inc., a virtual-reality headset maker last year, and efforts to make internet connections more extensive in developing countries.