Facebook (FB) is about to hit another milestone since its much-maligned initial public offering in May. Later this week its 91-day lockup period expires, which means some of the company's insiders and most prominent investors -- such as Goldman Sachs (GS) and Microsoft (MSFT) -- can begin selling their shares.
While there are currently fewer than 500 million shares available for trade, around 1.6 billion more will flood the market as additional lockup periods expire over the next several months, leading to speculation that the price -- which is down around 46% since the company's May 18 debut on the Nasdaq -- could have even further to fall. This week 271 million shares will unlock; November will see a much heftier addition of 1.2 billion shares.
It remains to be seen what the longer-term picture is for Facebook's stock as the company deals with challenges including a slowing growth rate and maximizing its ad revenue opportunities. A major focus is doing a better job of monetizing its mobile experience as users increasingly turn away from their desktops to scan status updates and "like" companies. But no matter where the company and its share price are in the months and years to come, its IPO -- from the initial tech glitches on the Nasdaq and the pricing controversy that followed to seriously burned investors and class action lawsuits -- will surely live on as the notorious "Faceplant" of 2012, even as the company added a cool $16 billion to their coffers.
While Facebook is arguably the most high-profile IPO disaster of the past year, its dismal performance doesn't quite rank among the bottom 5 performers, based on returns from the offering price. And while the losers have gotten much more press attention, there have also been some strong performers in the mix. Here's a quick look at the top and bottom 5 IPOs of the past 12 months, as of today.
Top 5 IPOs (by return since offer price)
*Supernus Pharmaceuticals (SUPN): This drug company, which specializes in the treatment of neurological disorders, has seen its stock rally more than 140% since it debuted just two weeks before Facebook took the public plunge. The company raised $47 million at an offer price of $5 at 10 million shares; it is trading now at just below $12. Biotech IPOs as a whole have been overperformers compared to many in the tech space. According to a Forbes article, recent tech IPOs have "lost more market capitalization in aggregate than 10x the entire value of the 15 Biotech IPOs that squeezed onto the public markets." Supernus reported earnings last week that were below analyst expectations, with a loss of $10.3 million in 2Q.
* Annie's (BNNY): Annie's, which sells packaged organic foods and is well-known for its mac 'n' cheese and bunny-shaped snacks, was a surprise winner when it started trading on the NYSE on March 28. Annie's offer price came in at $19, shares started trading at $31 and ended the day at $35 and change -- an 89% pop -- giving the company a market cap of around $600 million. At the time it was the best performance for an IPO since Linkedin (LNKD), which some have called the "anti-Facebook" given its impressive run since going public last year (a stark contrast to FB and other under-performers in the social-networking space). The stock is now trading at $40 and change, up more than 120% from its offer price.
* Proto Labs (PRLB), a manufacturer of machine parts, has been a winner in the industrial space since its debut on the NYSE on Feb. 24. It offered 4.3 million shares at $16 a piece, closed at $29 on its first day of trade and is currently trading above $35 a share, with a 52-week range of $29.43-$41.10. It had a rough day in late July after reporting earnings (revenue missed analyst expectations while EPS beat) and the stock plunged as much as 11%. Shares have recovered 10% since then.
* Michael Kors (KORS): High-end clothing and accessories designer Michael Kors made its debut on the Nasdaq in December of last year. The offering raised a massive $944 million in its IPO, selling 47.2 million shares that valued the company at $3.8 billion, making it the largest U.S. fashion-friendly IPO ever. Since then the company's stock price, initially $20, has soared more than 110%, and its market cap sits above $9 billion. The stock is soaring above 10% in today's trade following its better-than-expected earnings and annual profit forecast.
* Guidewire Software (GWRE), a company that provides software to the insurance industry, debuted on the Nasdaq on Jan 25. In its initial offering it sold 8.9 million shares at $13; the stock is now trading above $24, more than a 90% pop. The company, considered to be a part of the cloud-computing space, is grouped in with other recent successful cloud IPOs, including Splunk (SPLK), Demandware (DWRE) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW).
Worst 5 IPOs (by return since offer price)
* Zynga (ZNGA): As Facebook has fallen, social-gaming company Zynga -- which counts on Facebook for a huge percentage of its user base and revenue -- has plummeted, seeing more than a 70% plunge since it offered 100 million shares at $10 in mid-December. Its July earnings badly missed Wall Street expectations and provided a dramatically lowered outlook amid delays in new game releases, a rocky shift to mobile, and a disappointing performance for current game offerings. These are unhappy times on Farmville as the company's plunge has led to speculation that social gaming is not the wave of the future.
* Groupon (GRPN) is another high-profile non-success story. Down more than 70% since its IPO in December, the daily-deals company has faced major criticism regarding its business model, slowing growth and increasing competition from sites like LivingSocial.com. An article in Monday's Wall Street Journal reported that many in the company's sales force are jumping ship amid unsatisfactory working and compensation conditions. While the stock was trading up 3% on Monday ahead of its third earnings report as a public company, it plummeted close to 20% after hours when revenue estimations for the second quarter came in below expectations. In early trade on Tuesday it's down more than 20%, hitting new lows below $6 a share.
* Zeltiq Aesthetics (ZLTQ): This small-cap medical tech company, which specializes in cosmetic devices, has seen its stock sink around 58% since it went public in October 2011. With an offer price of $13, shares are now trading just above $5. The company has seen disappointing earnings on the bottom line three quarters in a row and an exodus of execs including its CEO earlier this year.
* Renewable Energy Group (REGI): This biodiesel company is down more than 50% from its $10 IPO price. On its first day of trade back in January it ended just 50 cents higher than the offer price and is currently trading at an all-time low below $5.
* Cafe Press (PRSS), an Internet company that caters to consumers of personalized T-shirts, coffee mugs and other such gift-shoppy items, has seen a decline of more than 50% since its IPO in March of this year. Its offer price was $19 and the stock is now trading at $9 and change. Last month its disappointing earnings report and outlook brought the stock to all-time lows below $9.