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Missed out on the Facebook IPO? There’s another way to get in on the action without feeling the need to sue Zuckerberg


So, you missed out on getting stock one of the most hyped IPOs in history – the Facebook IPO.

Or, worse, perhaps you didn’t.

You might just have a second chance to make amends, or at least have some fun.

Online bookmaker Tom Waterhouse is taking bets on Facebook’s stock price at the end of the year.

Why? Perhaps he’s offering some balm for investors scalded by the social networking site’s recent initial public offering or perhaps, to the many who are seeking to drag Mark Zuckerberg to court over the botched IPO, an opportunity to hedge their bets on the share price performance, so to speak.

Waterhouse is offering $5 on bets that Facebook’s shares will end the year at its IPO price of US$38 or higher.

Also, Waterhouse believes Facebook shares are twice as likely to be worth at least the IPO price than the catastrophic scenario of them being worth less than half — US$19.

“The Facebook finger pointing has begun but there are many grounds for believing the IPO couldn’t have happened at a worse possible time and the company’s share price will bounce back over the medium to long term,” said Waterhouse.

Facebook shares closed at $31.91 per share on May 25, down 16%. Not a single day has passed without a new revelation adding suspicions about several aspects of the company’s IPO including the role of investment bankers.

Simultaneously, there is considerable doubt about Facebook’s valuation of over $100 billion, given its low revenue and estimated assets of only $15 billion.

Waterhouse is a fourth-generation bookmaker and has been key in broadening the online betting firm’s horizons by branching out beyond horse racing.

Today, it accepts bets on several sports besides special events such as speculation on the value of Facebook shares. In fact, Waterhouse has effectively tapped the reach of Facebook to expand his business since launching tomwaterhouse.com in October 2010.

“The favourite end-of-year Facebook share price range is somewhere in the low US$30s, which until just before the IPO was forecast to be the launch value. That betting option is the $3 market leader,” he added.

Waterhouse expects Facebook can avert disaster if “it can generate strong revenues” and a Eurozone crisis is averted. In fact, in such a scenario, he believes “there’s no reason why its share price can’t rally above US$38.”

Here is a full range of bets Tom Waterhouse is offering on the value of Facebook shares at the end of the year (Monday 31 December 2012):

$10         lower than US$19

$6            US$19-US$24.99

$4            US$25-US$29.99

$3            US$30-US$34.99

$6.50     US$35-US$37.99

$5            US$38 or higher