Betsy Corcoran at Forbes is reporting that two hedge funds have agreed to invest an additional $500 million into Facebook. The buzz online says it's at the same $15 billion valuation as yesterday's Microsoft deal. So, just for fun let's look at what a $15 billion valuation implies were Facebook a public company.
For starters, let's be generous and assume that its stock trades at a PE of 56 times 2008 earnings. That's what Google was trading at shortly after it's IPO. What kind of earnings does that assume? The math says $270 million. I think social networking will change the way the world uses the Internet, and Facebook certainly has an early lead in that race. All that said, for a company with current REVENUES of only about $150 million, virtually no profits and plans to double its staff to 700 in ayear, $15 billion seems a little ... er .. frothy, no?