Although Facebook (FB - to be traded on NASDAQ or NYSE) is by far the most high-profile dot-com company to go public over the past year, it is actually one of several companies that have led to a revival of web company IPOs. And while many dot-com IPOs have been long on hype, they haven't yet paid off in terms of shareholder value.
Here's a quick look back at the recent batch of big dot-com IPOs and how they've paid off so far.
LinkedIn (LNKD - NYSE)
Went public: May 19, 2011
Money raised by IPO: $352.8 million
The lowdown: The career-focused social networking website went public last year and became the biggest tech IPO since Google went public in 2004. The company's share price closed at $94.25 at the end of its first day but has bobbed up and down ever since. The stock peaked at a price of $109.97 in July 2011 before falling down to the $75 range in August after the company released its third-quarter earnings. The share price has stayed roughly in that range ever since, briefly dipping below $60 in November. In all, the stock is down 18.5% since its debut last year.
Pandora (P - NYSE)
Went public: June 15, 2011
Money raised by IPO: $235 million
The lowdown: Internet radio giant Pandora raised an impressive amount of cash, easily exceeding the $200 million target the company set the week before it went public. Pandora's shares closed at $17.42 at the end of its first day and subsequently shot up to $20.01 at the close of July 1. This would prove to be Pandora's peak, however, as the company's share value bottomed out to under $10 at the close of September 12. The stock has recovered somewhat over the past few months, routinely trading in the $13 range, but it still has yet to match the closing price from its opening day. All told, Pandora's stock is down nearly 24% since its IPO.
Groupon (GRPN - NASDAQ)
Went public: November 4, 2011
Money raised by IPO: $700 million
The lowdown: Internet discount vendor Groupon's IPO generated a lot of ridicule and SEC filings released late last year raised fresh questions about its business prospects, but you can't argue with success: Its $700 million IPO blew past LinkedIn's IPO and thus made Groupon the most successful dot-com IPO since Google. And as an investment the company has (so far) not been as bad as LinkedIn or Pandora. Although Groupon's share price has only once exceeded the $26.11 that it closed at during its first day of trading, it has consistently remained in the range of $19 to $21 and is currently down 11% from its first day of trading.
Zynga (ZNGA - NASDAQ)
Went public: December 16, 2001
Money raised by IPO: $1 billion
The lowdown: It figures that the creators of "Farmville" and other smash-hit Facebook games would have the most successful dot-com IPO yet, surpassing even Groupon. What's more, Zynga's stock is the only one of the big dot-com stocks that debuted in 2011 to have actually gained value since it went public. The company's shares initially closed at $9.50 on their first day of trading but are now trading near $12.50, meaning the stock has gained more than 30% since its public launch. It also might be a stock you'll want to short, however, since it has benefited significantly from the Facebook IPO announcement and has gained more than 17% in value over the past day alone. Even so, it's pretty impressive for a company whose top good is virtual chickens and cows.