Effects of Facebook debacle on IPOs still unknown

Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering, or IPO, started out as a cultural phenomenon and ended last week as another black eye for Wall Street. That may or may not make things hard for new IPOs.

What an IPO is: Investopedia, a site rich in basic information, provides a definition of initial public offerings, and a clear warning about their pitfalls for individual investors, and goes on to deliver a list of linked articles on the site that give specifics on what “going public” means, how an IPO is valued, how to invest in IPOs through exchange-traded funds and so forth; bit.ly/KyoDwg.

Some better, some worse: Nasdaq, one of the major stock markets, provides this page on initial public offerings that lists the latest IPOs — led by Facebook and including other companies you probably never heard of — along with a chart of the five best- and five worst-performing IPOs of the last year.

Facebook didn’t make either of the two lists. You’ll also find lists of expected IPOs, those recently filed and those recently withdrawn stock offerings; bit.ly/KmR9js.

The IPO Center: MSN Money’s “IPO Center” does the same job with easy-to-use icons for looking at new filings, performance, highlights and other categories. There is also a news feed about IPOs and a link to the site’s “IPO Basics” page, which starts out with a handy glossary of IPO-related terms such as book, greenshoe, lockup period and spinning; bit.ly/KQMsRB.

Opinion roundup: A post on TheWeek.com mashes a roundup of opinions on this question: Did the Facebook debacle destroy the IPO market? Answers predict that some companies will now think twice about going public and that, anyway, a calmer IPO market will be better for investors; bit.ly/KgcegV.

Follow the headlines: Headlines at IPO Monitor indicate there’s so much nervousness among companies looking to go public that the flood of Facebook shares could swamp prices for other stocks.

But for now, it seems unlikely that Silicon Valley firms are going to snub Facebook’s IPO banker Morgan Stanley, even if it made missteps in the Facebook episode. It’s all speculative, but quite intriguing; bit.ly/KGYIP5.

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