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Facebook Surpasses eBay in Value

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Bloomberg Businessweek reports today that Facebook’s estimated worth is now greater than that of eBay, which makes it the third-largest US Internet business at an estimated $41 billion -- behind only Amazon at $74.4 billion and Google at $192.2 billion. Shares of the privately held company are now trading at more than $16 on SecondMarket.

But this valuation doesn’t indicate what the social-networking site will be worth in an IPO, which Lisa Buyer, founder of California IPO consulting firm Class V Group, tells Bloomberg could be light years away. “It could be a bargain at $41 billion -- we won’t know until it trades on the public markets,” she stated.

One thing to keep in mind when considering valuation estimates, however, is that valuations of closely held companies are not as precise as those of public companies, and Facebook doesn’t disclose financial information.

As Jonathan Thaw, a spokesman for Facebook stated: “We understand there is a great deal of interest and curiosity in our past and potential financial performance, however, external attempts to forecast revenue or value the company are fundamentally speculative and should be treated as such. We’re focused on building our business to be successful over the long term.”

Translation: “We know you're dying to know what we’re raking in, but all you need to know is that we’ve got way more money than you and intend to keep it that way.”

Damn you, Mark Zuckerberg.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.