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Facebook Tries To Appease Investors

Facebook this week took measures to appease investors and spark demand for its beleaguered stock. 

To rein in supply, the company canceled its secondary stock offering, and announced it will use cash instead to pay for taxes on its restricted stock units.

What’s more, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has vowed not to sell his stocks over the next year, while board members Marc Andreessen and Don Graham promised to hold onto their shares for the foreseeable future.  

“While that does not mean other insiders won’t sell as hundreds of millions of additional shares become free trading in the months ahead, investors are taking heart from the news,” Forbes writes.

“Together, the steps function like a kind of defensive wall around the Facebook share price,” The Wall Street Journal explains. “They effectively reduce the amount of Facebook stock in the public market and spread out the amount of shares that could flood the market in November after a lockup period on the stock expires.”

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“Along with allowing employees to sell up to 234 million shares two weeks sooner than the original November 14th lockup expiration date when the other 777 million go free, [the moves] will let Facebook get the lockup over with sooner, avoid a secondary sale or big shareholder dump from hurting its share price, and finally get back to business,” TechCrunch writes.

“The new self-imposed ban makes a lot of sense,” Mashable makes clear. “Not only would it be foolish for Zuckerberg to start selling off more shares now, considering how much their value has plummeted, it would also potentially send a bad message to investors.”

According to The New York Times, however, “Analysts were skeptical whether these moves … will have any appreciable bearing on the stock.”

Adds TechCrunch: “Now the question will be how the market reacts when Facebook announces its third quarter financial results on October 23rd, and the sped-up employee lockup expiration hits on October 29th."

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