The Exchange

Facebook IPO: Other Big Tech Debuts

The Exchange

We're off to the races as Facebook (FB) begins to trade; the stock has trimmed most of its gains after initially surging more than 10 percent in its debut on the Nasdaq.

This is a good time to compare the giant social network with some of the other well-known tech outfits of the modern day, such as Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL).

Now, anyone who remembers the dot-com era certainly recalls bust after bust, but the tech sector is also full of success stories. And some of the best-known companies in technology have made it for a reason: They provide something people want, and the businesses are run the right way. Shareholders in these particular companies have done well, too. In a number of cases, they've done astonishingly well.

With that said, here's a look at how some of tech's household names have performed since their own initial public offerings. The graphic here started with a simple premise: If you invested $1,000 in each company's stock at the time of its IPO, how much would that investment be worth today? To arrive at how those original investments have grown over the years, stock splits have been included where applicable.

However, the numbers here don't include any dividends the companies might pay, so these aren't total returns -- only the appreciation in stock price that shareholders have seen, minus reinvested dividends.

Even the "worst" of this lot has been pretty good.

Now we want to hear from you. Which one will Facebook be? Boom or bust? Let us know what you think below. And for complete coverage, be sure to visit our Facebook page.

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* The methodology was as follows: Start with $1,000. Buy as many shares as possible at the IPO price. For example, Apple's IPO was at $22 a share. That means with $1,000 you could buy 45.45 shares. Then factor in the stock splits. Apple has had three 2-for-1 splits since its IPO. As a result, each share you bought at the outset is now EIGHT. So you multiply your original shareholding (45.45) by 8. That gives you 363.64. Multiply your new shares by the current market price. We used the closing price on Wednesday, May 16, in all cases. Apple closed at $546.08 that day. Multiply that by the number of shares, and you get $198,574.54. We did the same in all cases. Google has no splits. We took the liberty of rounding.

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