FriendFinder Networks Inc. is a leading Internet-based social networking and technology company operating several of the most heavily-trafficked websites in the world. We provide our customers with a wide variety of online products and services, appealing to members of diverse cultures and interest groups, so they can interact with each other and enjoy our content. Our sites' services include social networking, online personals, live and recorded video, online chat rooms, instant messaging, photo and video sharing, blogs, message boards, email and premium content websites. FriendFinder Networks also produces and distributes original pictorial and video content, licenses the globally recognized Penthouse brand to a variety of consumer product companies and entertainment venues, and publishes branded men's lifestyle magazines.
Our websites include some of the most heavily-trafficked in the world. We offer social networking
and online personals services, live video and premium content websites. Our sites feature live
video chat, recorded video, online chat rooms, instant messaging, photo and video sharing,
blogs, message boards, news, stories, articles and free e-mail. Since 1996, 484 million users in
over 200 countries have registered on our websites.
FriendFinder Networks' entertainment division includes the globally recognized
Penthouse brand. Penthouse publishes numerous branded men's lifestyle magazines
and books, produces and distributes original pictorial and video content, and licenses the
widely recognized Penthouse name to a variety of consumer product companies and
Penthouse parent FriendFinder 'still interested' in buying Playboy
Last we'd heard, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner greeted the overtures of rival nudie mag Penthouse with the news that he wasn't about to sell his stock in the company "to Penthouse or anybody else." But Marc Bell, the CEO of Penthouse's corporate parent, FriendFinder Networks, doesn't seem to want to take no for an answer.
"We are still obviously very interested in acquiring Playboy, plus a few other assets to go with it," Bell told Fox Business Network's Liz Claman on Monday.
Bell said FriendFinder, which operates 30,000 social networking websites -- including several of the NSFW variety -- had recently raised $551 million and "rejiggered its balance sheet." He stopped short of saying whether the company would raise its previous $210 million bid for Playboy Enterprises, which Hefner made an offer to take private over the summer, but he wasn't shy about suggesting why FriendFinder and Playboy, which is bleeding millions, could be a good match.
"We have 124 million people coming to our websites every month," he said. "Imagine what we can do with the power of our brands, our business today, applied to any business we acquire."
Facebook IPO: A Valuation Comparison To Other Social Media Stocks http://seekingalpha.com/article/323951-facebook-ipo-a-valuation-comparison-to-other-social-media-stocks?source=yahoo
Reports are that Facebook is preparing to file its S-1 with the SEC as early as this coming Wednesday, setting the stage for what would be one of the biggest IPOs. The company is estimated to raise as much as $10 billion, which would value the social networking giant at somewhere between $75 billion and $100 billion. Facebook is undoubtedly the social networking leader, and possibly one of the top three to five leading internet companies of our time.
Needless to say, the retail investor will be bombarded with information on how significant the company is in terms of how people do and will communicate, connect, and consume information using Facebook, and perhaps some will even make comparisons to Google Inc.'s (GOOG) meteoric six-fold rise since its IPO just over seven years ago in making their case for Facebook.
While Facebook's dominance of the social media category, indeed the sheer impossibility to even build an effective competition in the years ahead given that it has already captured 800 million subscribers, infusing Facebook into their lives with ever more innovative features, cannot be argued against, we believe the proper question isn't how dominant and successful Facebook is. Instead, the proper question, since we already know what we stated above as almost self-evident, especially smart (institutional) money that already has significant stakes in it, is will the IPO valuation leave any value to be captured by the retail investor?
This is especially an important question given how poorly most social media IPOs have fared recently. Some examples:
- Social games developer Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) shares are just now creeping above their IPO price after spending the last six weeks below it;
- Renren Inc. (RENN), often touted as the Facebook of China, trades at prices over 60% below its IPO last April;
- Online streaming music provider Pandora Music Inc. (P) also trades well below the IPO price of $16;
- Groupon Inc. (GRPN), a provider of discount deals from local retailers, is just now trading above its IPO price of $20, but still well below levels of $25-$30 that most retail investors bought in the opening days;
- Online professional social networking platform operator LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) trades well above the IPO price of $45, but still well below the $80-120 levels at which most retail investors bought in the opening days;
- Social networking and gaming platform operator for the Latino community, Quepasa Corp. (QPSA), is also trading near its lows; and
- Friendfinder Networks (FFN), a provider of online personals services, is also trading near its lows, at below $1, and well below the $10 IPO price from just last May.
We tried to answer at least part of that question by comparing the proposed valuation of Facebook to its peers in the online social networking space, by comparing them on valuation variables such as price-to-sales ratio and price-over-adjusted EBITDA ratio. Besides the new social networking pure plays, we have also compared them to more established players such as Google Inc. that is a social media player via its YouTube and Google+ offerings; and Sina Corp. (SINA), a Chinese internet portal offering that is also a destination for the global Chinese communities. The following table gives an overview of that analysis: