May 15, 2012, 11:41 AM

Facebook boosts its IPO expectations

The valuation for the social network could exceed $100 billion.

Lead Photo

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

Facebook Inc. today increased the price target range for its shares from $28 to $35 per share to $35 to $38 per share, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. If underwriters sell Facebook’s shares at the top of that range, that would value the company at nearly $104 billion.

Facebook plans to sell up to 388 million shares of its stock in its initial public offering, which amounts to 12.3% of the company. Nearly half of the shares are being sold by founders, employees and investors. The IPO could raise up to $14.74 billion.

The offer, expected Friday, will launch on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol FB.

Facebook’s IPO stands to be the largest ever to come out of Silicon Valley. Google Inc. raised nearly $2 billion when it went public in 2004.

Advertising accounts for the vast majority of Facebook’s revenue. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, ads on the social network accounted for 98%, 95%, and 85%, respectively, of revenue.

However, the social network last week opened up a new revenue-generating channel with the launch of launch of its App Center, which offers developers a venue to offer free and paid applications on the social network. Like Apple Inc.’s iTunes and Google Play, the App Center enables developers to set a one-time price on their applications that users can pay to install and run the app on Facebook. Facebook then collects a set commission on those purchases.

"The App Center is designed to grow mobile apps that use Facebook, whether they’re on iOS, Android or the mobile web," wrote Facebook engineer Aaron Brady in a blog post

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