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 (

Trefis

) -- Speculation is rising that

Facebook

might file for an IPO before 2012 itself. While valuations for the company have gone to as high as $100 billion in private markets, an initial registration statement is all it takes to provide a much clearer picture of how Facebook's metrics are faring. Facebook leads the global social networking arena, competing with the likes of

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

,

LinkedIn

(LNKD)

and

MySpace

.

See our complete analysis for Facebook.

Much like

Groupon

(GRPN) - Get Report

and LinkedIn, Facebook's purported

valuations have varied considerably since the last one year. A big reason for this is an asymmetry of information regarding Facebook's operating metrics. While registered users on Facebook are visibly expanding, information on Facebook's revenues and operating margins is erratic at best as the company has no obligation to release its financial data. As a result, a single figure released from a relatively anonymous source can send the market into a flurry.

While Groupon obviously has its

share of problems, these issues came into light as the company released its first S-1 registration in June 2011. For now, Facebook seems clear of any worrying statistics, with its user base ever expanding to over 800 million now and revenues doubling to $1.6 billion in 1H-2011. With the success of tech IPOs in the past few months, the company is surely considering this a ripe time to go public. Facebook's ubiquity and enormous influence on the internet is sure to make this a highly anticipated event.

We currently value Facebook at around $45 billion.

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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.