Facebook IPO: Moment of Truth Arrives

The biggest initial public offering in recent years will take place today on Wall Street.

After years of rumors about an inevitable IPO, Friday, May 18, 2012 delivers the moment of truth for the largest social network on the planet.

“If the Facebook IPO is to succeed,” says CNBC’s Jeff Cox, “it will have to overcome a less-than-stellar history of similar technology offerings that started quickly out of the gate but faltered shortly thereafter.”

Earlier this week, Facebook confirmed plans to price shares at $38. As of Friday, Facebook’s market cap looms near $81 billion.

Following the IPO, the company’s total valuation may approach $107 billion.

“Everybody is thinking about the year 2000: Are these real companies, or is this the tech bubble all over again?” asks Nadav Baum, executive vice president at BPU Investment Management. “Everybody’s on Facebook. But how are they going to make money?“

The process of answering that question begins this morning when FB begins trading on NASDAQ.