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Facebook: New and Improved One Year Later

Anecdotally, I'm told it is catching on with customers who desire a fuller Facebook experience. The enormous risk that FB's leadership is taking is that it's dependent on one its biggest competitors, the incredibly successful Google and its line of products.

At the present time Facebook Home is also available on Samsung mobile devices including the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, in addition to Google's HTC One X and HTC One X+. So Facebook has already mitigated some of the risk of being too dependent on Google devices.

Will Facebook alienate Apple with this exclusivity approach with Google and Samsung? Possibly, but it's too early to tell. If the end-users and advertisers climb on board in big numbers Facebook's gamble will have paid off and Mr. Zuckerberg will have placed his company in a league of their own.

As the one-year chart below colorfully shows us, the last year has not been fun for shareholders. When it comes to revenue and earnings per share it has clearly been a struggle.

FB Chart FB data by YCharts

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg believes in the future of FB as revealed by the fact that as of May 6 she owned a whopping 15,847,150 shares of the company. Multiply that by $26 and that equals over $410.8 million worth of solid commitment!

If you think that's impressive, take a look at the top institutional holders of FB stock. As of Dec. 31, FMR LLC (aka Fidelity Investments) owned a breathtaking 74,743,056 shares or around 4.3% of the outstanding shares.

As of March 31, Vanguard Group owned 41,628,225 shares representing nearly 2.4% of the outstanding shares of FB. But what about the Chairman and CEO of Facebook: How many shares of his company does Zuckerberg still own?

That's not an easy question to answer. My research suggests that directly or indirectly he owns 609.5 million shares of company stock as of March 31, according to the regulatory filing. His current holding would be worth well over $16 billion. One could feel financially secure with such a cache.

Speaking of financial security FB, as of March 31, had total cash $9.47 billion and trailing 12-month operating cash flow of $1.89 billion. This leaves FB with levered free cash flow of nearly $1.15 billion as a result of year-over-year revenue growth of nearly 38%.
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