By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace Writer
The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg must be a good poker player. Even during a recent interview on
, he showed little enthusiasm for an IPO. Based on his look of indifference, it seemed that going public wasn't a topic of discussion at his company.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
However, according to a report in
The Wall Street Journal
, the IPO process is definitely in motion. The company's CFO is talking to bankers and discussing important points, like the valuation. It seems that a $100 billion-plus deal is a real possibility -- with a capital raise of $10 billion. The target date is between April and June, which should be enough time to get through the regulatory hurdles with the
Securities & Exchange Commission
Also see: Will Zynga be done in by data?
So, what might be the reaction? Based on recent social deals, like
, it may not be a slam dunk. All of these companies have seen significant drops in their stock prices since their debuts.
Then again, Facebook is really in a rarefied category. With over 800 million active users, it has become one of the world's most impressive brands. In fact, the buzz is that the company should generate roughly $4 billion in revenue this year and be profitable.
Also see: Cleantech firm, BioAmber, jumps in IPO mix
Given Facebook's intense user loyalty, an IPO should also attract a tremendous amount of retail investors. It's even possible that Facebook will have a "direct IPO," meaning it will issue its shares without the help of bankers. Hey, why pay the exorbitant fees to
and become a fan on
Yet, some nagging issues remain. Companies like Groupon and Zynga have seen slowdowns in usage. Might this also be the case with Facebook? What if the revenue and profit aren't as high as expected? Perhaps
social networking is making a dent?
Also see: Rib-X Pharma set to go public
Ultimately, we won't know anything until Facebook files its S-1. And based on the
report, this should happen within a few weeks.
At the time of publication, the author did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog "
," a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of
(Link: ) and
Follow him on Twitter at
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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.