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Ahead of the Bell: Facebook shares edge down

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Facebook Inc. were down slightly in pre-market trading Tuesday, as investors digested the disclosure that Peter Thiel, one of the first investors in Facebook, sold some of his stock last week.

The shares fell 37 cents, or about 2 percent, at $19.64. The shares hit an all-time low of $18.75 in trading Monday.

Late Monday, a regulatory filing revealed that Thiel, a former CEO at PayPal, sold about 20 million shares of Facebook through affiliates.

Though Facebook's stock has lost nearly half of its value since its initial public offering, Thiel made out well. As one of Facebook's initial investors, he first invested $500,000 in the company in 2004. He sold 16.8 million shares in the company's May initial public offering for about $640 million. With last week's sale, Thiel has now sold most of his stake in the company.

Thursday marked the expiration of the first of several lockup periods barring insiders from selling Facebook's stock following its IPO. All told, investors who owned a combined 271 million Facebook shares became eligible to sell their stock.

Accel Partners, another early investor, said in filings that it distributed stock to its limited partners after the lockup expired. It was not clear from the filings what the partners did with the shares, though it's likely that some were sold, based on Facebook's more than 6 percent stock price drop and high trading volume on Thursday.