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LAO’s Target Price for Facebook: $45 per Share

| May 15, 2012
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Speaking of the Big Facebook Bang, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office upped the estimate of the amount California will reap from the company going public. The LAO puts the figure at $2.1 billion over the next 13 months if Governor Brown’s tax plan passes in November. Without the higher tax rates, the amount falls to $1.6 billion. The governor’s May budget revise assumed just $1.9 billion in Facebook revenue with the higher tax rates, and $1.4 billion under the current system.

The LAO calculated its totals by assuming a $38 IPO share price, rising to $45 in six months.

Facebook today raised its IPO price to between $34 to $38 per share, up from $28 to $35. Shares start trading on the Nasdaq on Friday, under the ticker symbol ZUCK (Ha ha; the symbol is FB.)

“The Facebook IPO is a really large set of financial transactions, and a large portion of the beneficiaries of those transactions live and work in California where Facebook is headquartered,” Jason Sisney of the LAO’s office told KQED’s Peter Jon Shuler today. “And so for the state of California that means these transactions will generate significant personal income tax revenues in the next few months. They will be a lot more if the share price climbs rapidly and stays there…and if more of those Facebook insiders are California taxpayers. We don’t know for sure how many of them are, and we don’t know for sure how many of them will undertake stock transactions related to the IPO. But we know enough from the filings to know the state revenue impact is going to be substantial. The key question is how big.”

Sisney said the most important factor determining the amount flowing into state coffers is what the share price is about six months from now, when a large volume of restricted stock units become exercisable. “Those are likely to generate the bulk of the taxable income that would produce state revenues in the next year,” Sisney said.

Sisney also said that under certain scenarios, the state’s take could be $1-2 billion dollars greater. “If the share price were higher or if there were a lot more transactions by Californians than we guessed in this estimate,” he said.

Hmmm, sounds a little like a CNBC analyst, circa 1999.

Meanwhile, the general public is not quite so Facebook bullish. Marketplace reports

Update 4:15 p.m: And some stock pros as well

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Category: Economy, Technology

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