Joseph O'Brien 6 a.m., March 29
Facebook Hype Indicate Peak? Year 2000 Worse
The highly-hyped stock of Facebook is trading down today (May 21) in its second day of trading. The first day, it was flat, surprising some analysts, who expected it to leap -- typical for hot new issues of stock, particularly in tech. Facebook may have gone public at 3 times realistic value, and some think this may indicate a frothy top in the overall stock market, but the experience in San Diego in the late 1990s and 2000 suggests that it could be much worse.
Those were the days when initial public offerings (IPOs) would routinely triple the first day. Wireless Facilities went public Nov. 5, 1999 at $15; the first trade was at $37.50 and the stock closed that day at $62. It has now changed its focus to defense under the name Kratos, and this morning is trading at $5.22. Enzyme maker Diversa went public Feb. 14 of 2000 at $24. The first trade was $54.50 and the first-day closing price $75. It has gone through permutations, once moved to Massachusetts, returned to San Diego, and is now trading at $3.27 under the name Verenium. MP3.com went public in mid-1999 at $28 and the first trade was at $92. It was later sold for $5 a share. Websense went public in 2000 at $18, the first trade was $34.50 and it closed at $47.75 that day. It's now at $18.69, but at least has survived and done well. A winner of sorts was biotech Illumina, which went public in 2000 at $16, closing the first day at $39.17. The stock then plunged, but is now back up to $43.44, and is a successful company.
U.S. stocks and bonds are both overvalued because of the madcap creation of money by the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world. But things aren't as crazy as they were in the late 1990s and 2000. (On the other hand, back then, Europe was not on the brink of falling apart, as it is today.)
More like this:
- Bubbles: Greenspan, Bernanke could have learned something in San Diego — March 13, 2013
- San Diego Tech Stocks Give You Butterflies — Jan. 19, 2011
- Don't Pop This Bubble — Nov. 29, 2007
- Those Big Fish Are Gonna Get You — Jan. 20, 2005
- Get a Huge Bump, Make Millions — May 22, 2003