THE FIVE

Facebook IPO: Any profit for the average investor?

Social network's value could hit $100 billion

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," February 2, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Facebook filed stock a offering on Wednesday, and some say its value could hit $100 billion. It's a lot of green for something you can't eat or drive. The only tangible result, your ex from high school looks you up and ruins your marriage.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 66 percent of divorces are linked to Facebook. I guess if an ex pokes you, you'll poke back, even if your mate is seated next to you probably doing the same thing.

Even more, what generates much of Facebook income is Farmville, a fictitious world within another fictitious world -- meaning the success of Facebook is based on some really awful video games. I guess it beats making stuff.

So it makes sense to ponder this IPO carefully. People have been buying Facebook shares privately all along, which means by the time you and I arrive, it's like showing up for Thanksgiving a week later -- nothing but a carcass in the fridge. The big money has been made. But if you must buy, wait a few months and hold, hold, hold.

But there are positive lessons from Facebook. One, ideas and risk mean more than degrees. Facebook came from hard work and thinking big.

And second, its success represents the brain unfettered by bureaucracy. No union bosses or regulations could stop it.

Still, Facebook is weird. It's a vast non-world where we indulge strangers, often instead of family. But please don't un-friend me for saying that.

Eric, you're the financial mind here. Should the average retail investor buy into Facebook or is it just too late? Or --

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: It's too early to answer that question. It depends what's called the valuation, in other words, when it's about to go public, they start selling shares to the public. It depends what they say the company is worth.

Right now, they're estimating somewhere between $5 billion and $10 billion. I'll tell you, if it's near that, you have to buy it because 850 worldwide users of anything, you want to own the stock of that company.

GUTFELD: Juan, 850 million users, that's -- you saturate it. The odds of it growing, it can only get smaller, especially, the world is run by 15-year-old girls. The moment a 15-year-old girl says, I'm bored, I'm going to do Tumblr, Facebook is gone, right?

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: No. I don't -- in fact, I just thought you were going to say it can only grow.

GUTFELD: Yes.

WILLIAMS: I mean, I'm just amazed how much it has grown. I think -- I saw 100 billion friends?

GUTFELD: Yes.

WILLIAMS: Is that possible? How many people live on the Earth?

GUTFELD: Because you could be a friend --

WILLIAMS: What's going on?

BOLLING: We could all be friends.

WILLIAMS: But we are friends. I mean --

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Are we friends on there?

BOLLING: I think we're friends. I don't know. It can grow because they haven't really monetized anything. They haven't really sold much -- a little advertising in Farmville.

GUILFOYLE: Who can afford it then though?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Right.

WILLIAMS: No, it's not who can afford? Is there any profit -- any additional profit to be made?

GUILFOYLE: Well right. Then you say, can I afford it?

GUTFELD: Monetizing it would mean, Kimberly, you're the legal mind here, selling the information they have about us.

WILLIAMS: Well, they're doing that already.

GUTFELD: Well, I don't think Facebook has, right? Google is considering it.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, then LinkedIn, a bunch of these different groups are having stuff where they can use your pictures, they can use your stuff and they can, unless you unclick certain boxes. Did that today on LinkedIn, by the way.

Yes, but look, Facebook, I think people were kind of counting it out. It's done nothing but kind of grow basically. So I think it still has room. I think you would agree, Eric, and this guy is going to do like Steve Jobs, he said, if the evaluation goes the way it should, he's going to have a $1 salary. Can you imagine? It must be nice.

GUTFELD: Dana, you rejected my friendship on Earth and in Facebook.

PERINO: But I follow you on Twitter.

GUTFELD: That's nice.

PERINO: I follow all of you on Twitter. When my mom gets on Facebook, you know that maybe something next is coming up. I don't -- also Facebook is not --

BOLLING: That is so mean.

PERINO: No, you know what I mean. Like if you're mom --

BOLLING: Mrs. Perino, she didn't mean it in a bad way.

GUILFOYLE: She's sorry!

PERINO: I don't even know how to do it. My mom knows how to upload pictures.

GUILFOYLE: I don't know how to do that either.

PERINO: But I also look at some of these people like, so if you're a young person and you're going to apply for a job, graduating from college. Want to know the first things a new employer does? they Google search you and they'll go on the Facebook to see what you've been up to. And I actually think that in some ways where Facebook has led to some marriages failing, I also think that it led to some people not getting a job.

GUTFELD: Oh, absolutely.

GUILFOYLE: That's true.

PERINO: It can help you get a job too, I guess.

BOLLING: One quick point --

PERINO: What?

GUILFOYLE: There's a lot of stalkers on there?

BOLLING: No taxpayer bailouts for Facebook whatsoever.

WILLIAMS: Well, they don't need it, right? And it's American innovation. But the question today is, will it make you money if you buy into it?

GUTFELD: All right.

BOLLING: I will.

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