NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It never ceases to amaze me to see just how spoiled and childish Wall Street can be sometimes. Complaints are quickly filed and fingers get pointed whenever a seemingly guaranteed instant gratification fails to deliver. My article Tuesday on social media giant Facebook (FB) was not "liked" by investors who are now left holding the Facebook bag after buying at the top range of an IPO that was once billed as a promising pay day.
In numerous emails, I was called insensitive for my having described retail investors as "unsophisticated and greedy speculators that got what they deserve." Aside from the fact that I was blatantly misquoted in these love-filled notes, I was more disappointed as it seems nothing was learned through this event. Each note suggested it was everyone else's fault except the investor's. However, as I read each one of them and try to put myself in their shoes, fundamentally, I just could not sympathize for what was the result of greed. But it was not because I did not try.
Though I angered some investors in my analysis, disappointingly, I think I was somewhat reserved in my appraisal of the situation. The embarrassment surrounding the stock's plummeting valuation and suspicions that surrounded the failed trade confirmations by Nasdaq have become a significant mess -- one that Wall Street would much rather leave up to someone else to clean up.
What this means is that nothing will likely get done and we can expect something like this to happen again.With the stock having now closed at $32 and trading at 73 times earnings, there is no question that it is still too expensive -- particularly when appraised on a price-to-cash-flow basis. Now that the hype is over, investors want to know two things. First, when is a right time to place a bet? And second, what guarantees are there that it can be sold at a higher price when it's ready to be sold? This goes back to that all-important question -- what is social media worth? Once investors arrive at that answer, it should be followed with a system of applying the proper valuation to the stock.
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