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Facebook Prices at $38; Trading Poised to Start Friday

Thursday, 17 May 2012 | 4:31 PM ET

Facebookpriced its historic initial public offering at $38 a share, at the high end of the expected range of $34 to $38 a share, becoming the largest Internet IPO in history.

Facebook
AP
Facebook

The deal will raise the social networking giant around $16 billion in proceeds, and value the company at more than $100 billion.

Facebook is set to begin trading Friday at around 11 a.m. ET on the Nasdaq under the ticker “FB” . (Click here to read the company's press release about its pricing.)

Facebook is on track to sell 421 million shares as part of the offering, roughly 60 percent of which are coming from insiders and other existing shareholders.

Including the overallotment (a 30-day option underwriters have to include an additional batch of shares in the deal), Facebook could raise up to $18.4 billion, which would make it the second largest IPO in U.S. history, behind only Visa, which raised $19.7 billion when it went public in 2008.

"It's about what we expected," Josh Brown of Fusion Analytics told CNBC's “Closing Bell” show. "I think the stock opens up at a premium from there."

A quick surge in Facebook could help left the broader market, which has suffered through a brutal sell-in-May-and-go-away period.

"It will probably be a positive for the market overall tomorrow," Brown added. "This is a really dreary atmosphere, but something like a Facebook could really make people feel a little bit better about wading back into some Nasdaq names."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, actually stands to lose some of his standing as one of the richest people in the world. Zuckerberg, who helped develop what was called "the Facebook" while an undergraduate at Harvard University, is now worth $16.5 billion, but that number will shrink to about $15.5 billion after the stock starts selling, according to calculations from Forbesmagazine.

(Video: The bull and bear cases for Facebook.)

Facebook provides social interaction for nearly a billion users worldwide, but more importantly offers an advertising platform for companies who gain access to the likes or dislikes of the site's users.

(Check out this blog post about what Facebook facesahead.)

The site's 512 million users classified as active offered a combined 3.2 billion “likes”and comments per day in the first quarter of 2012, and there are more than 125 billion friend connections.

The IPO itself will cast a huge footprint on the market, taking total offerings this year to their highest level in dollar terms since 2000, according to Dealogic.

—CNBC’s Kate Kelly contributed to this report.

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