One Contrarian's Call: Buy Facebook As Lockups Expire
Senior Editor, CNBC.com
Eight hundred million shares of Facebook are set to "flood" the market Wednesday, as the company's biggest post-IPO lockup expires.
This has many investors fearful that stock sales from employees could push the stock, which has lost nearly half its value since the IPO, even lower. Some are calling it the "Facebook fiscal cliff." (Read more: Facebook Drops as Employees Sell Shares)
But not everyone sees this as a reason to sell. In fact, some contrarians think it will be an excellent time to buy Facebook.
Matt Gohd, a senior managing director and options strategist at WallachBeth Capital, thinks Facebook stock could very likely go up in the aftermath of the lockup expiration.
"I think it could go up tomorrow, it will be up next week, and it will be up at the end of the month, " Gohd said.
Gohd's thesis is pure contrarianism. With so many traders positioning themselves for a downward move in Facebook stock, the stock price may have already incorporated the coming sales. If you believe markets are at all efficient, certainly they should have priced in the shares coming out of lockup.
(Read more: Mark Cuban Takes Issue With Facebook)
"The end of the lockup is the worst-kept surprise in U.S. history, " Gohd says.
When the first lockup of Facebook shares was lifted on August 16, shares fell 6.3 percent. But if you bought shares at the closing price on August 16 and held them for a month, you saw an 8.3 percent gain.
I should point out that Gohd pointed out in early August that the lockup expiration could be bullish for the stock
Facebook shares were flat the first trading day following the lockup expiration on October 15. If you bought at the closing price that day, you've seen a 2.18 percent gain to date. (And you were up by a nudge more than 19 percent on October 24.)
In short, buying Facebook at the closing price on the day of lockup expiration days and holding for a month has been a good short-term trade.
Gohd thinks that Facebook could turn upward as early as Wednesday.
"When the sell-off doesn't occur the way people are expecting, you'll see shorts come in to cover. Then you get upward momentum in the stock, " he said.
Gohd thinks Facebook might be set for a significant rise next month, saying that the stock could rise by 40 to 50 percent. His reasoning: "This year's losers are often next year's winners. Everyone hates Facebook. Get a couple of people to change your mind, and momentum turns upward."
(Read more: Facebook Woos Back Wall Street's Love With Mobile)
Gohd, of course, is a trader himself. He holds options in Facebook, and is recommending options strategies to his clients to take advantage of any moves in the stock. He's also in a tiny minority in making a bullish call on Facebook for Wednesday. This is pretty much pure speculation. Not for the faint of heart.
- by CNBC Senior Editor John Carney.