Facebook sign at the entrance of the company's Menlo Park, Calif.,… (Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP )
Facebook is set to become one of the world's most valuable Web companies when it launches its initial public stock offering, expected later this month.
The social networking giant will price its shares between the high $20s and the mid $30s, giving the company a valuation of between $85 billion and $95 billion, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment.
The Menlo Park, Calif., company, on track to make its stock market debut May 18, begins a road show next week to pitch its IPO. Interest in the IPO has hit feverish highs, from kids to the elderly, said Scott Sweet, managing partner of IPO Boutique.
"People will be turned away at road shows due to overwhelming attendance, and it will be standing room only in every location," Sweet said. "This is a phenomenon that few IPOs ever get."
Facebook's valuation will surpass Google's $23-billion valuation in 2004 and will rank it just behind the market capitalization of Amazon.com.
Facebook will make its pricing range public in a regulatory filing after the market closes Thursday, the Wall Street Journal said.
Companies often change their pricing as they market the IPO to institutional investors. Final pricing will be determined the day before Facebook goes public.
Facebook, with more than 900 million users around the globe, is the hottest IPO to come out of Silicon Valley in years. Still, some analysts have expressed concerns about the company’s sky-high valuation after it reported first-quarter profit and sales that declined compared with the prior period.
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