Facebook’s sagging stock will face another test Thursday when the first of the company’s lockout periods to sell the stock will expire, freeing up some 271 million shares.
Some insiders who hold stock in the company including COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Ebersman, will be free to sell the stock on Aug. 16. It’s unclear how many will take the option; the company’s stock was down more than 46% from its IPO price Wednesday morning, when it was trading for $20.38. However, the expiration of a lockout period usually drags a company’s stock price down further. When LinkedIn’s and Groupon’s first lockout periods ended, the companies’ stock prices fell 7% and 10%, respectively.
This is the first of many expiration periods for Facebook stock. A total of 1.8 billion shares could hit the market in the next 18 months. Some 421 million shares have traded since the company went public in May. The next big dump could happen in November, when Facebook will convert restricted stock units held by many employees into actual stock.
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