NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Facebook ( FB) probably went public too soon. Now the company is more like a healthy teenager. The kind who goes to college on his parents' money, gets in trouble at frat parties, but who you just know is going to wind up selling insurance with a trophy wife and lots of friends down the road. That seems to be Wall Street's view. Despite Facebook's small problems and missteps, investors are finally taking to the biggest initial public offering of 2012. The stock is up 85% year to date and opened today at around $49 a share -- well above its IPO price of $38 a share. AAPL) accountant. It's easy to argue that Facebook is overpriced, looking at its current price-to-earnings multiple of 185. With a market cap of almost $120 billion, it's selling at almost 12 times the most optimistic view on 2013 revenue, $10 billion. But that's reasonable compared with Amazon's ( AMZN). Cash flow is also accelerating, with more than $2 billion in operating cash during the second quarter alone, and positive changes in net cash over three of the last four quarters.
Instagram is now getting ads, for instance. Yahoo ( YHOO) would love to turn itself into Facebook, but hasn't figured out the internal growth trick yet. Our Chris Ciaccia has looked at the coming Twitter IPO and it's easy to conclude that Facebook's own S-1 made more sense. Facebook had more than 10 times Twitter's revenue when it went public; had three times as many users, and was actually showing a profit. Yes, Facebook still has the problems typical of the college years. A party advertised in England on the service drew 600 gatecrashers who trashed the place. Brazil is threatening to take the service down there if Facebook doesn't take some data down. Facebook is even building its own "dorm" for top employees, next to its headquarters, a 21st century company town so that the work and party never end. Snapchat is cooler, that it's taking on social aspects and that since its data gets automatically erased, it's a safer place to play. Maybe. Facebook was born into a youth culture, and created a new one from scratch. It's sort of like the late Dick Clark, but its American Bandstand has been on only for a few years.
Read: Kass: Shutdown Slowdown And Clark, despite a youthful appearance that looked a little creepy as he aged, was actually a successful entrepreneur, the kind one could invest in with confidence. I was honored to meet Clark at a cable industry meeting in the 1990s and, whatever else you might think of him, he was really a noble man. For a role model, as he turns 30, CEO Mark Zuckerberg could do worse. At the time of publication, the author was long Yahoo and Apple. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.