Based on the book of orders submitted by both institutional and retail investors, Morgan Stanley found that there were two distinct price levels at which investors were interested in buying stock. Institutional investors, having digested the news of the underwriter estimate cut, were comfortable buying Facebook stock at $32 a share. Retail investors, meanwhile, who were presumably unaware of the estimate cut, were comfortable buying Facebook at $40 a share. Knowing that a big percentage of the IPO stock could be sold to retail investors instead of institutional investors, Facebook and Morgan Stanley decided to price the IPO at $38. Although the precise allocations could not be learned, a source says that Morgan Stanley allocated a far larger percentage of the Facebook deal to individual investors than is normally the case in an IPO like this.
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