The recent release of Facebook's S-1, the financial filings that are required to be publicly available prior to filing an IPO, has created a media frenzy. The report has been dissected and analyzed extensively, financial news networks can’t seem to stop talking about it and it seems that people who have never heard of an IPO are discussing it, fittingly, on their Facebook pages. The most controversial issue, of course, is whether Facebook is actually worth $100 Billion.
Although Facebook is unique in its global reach and ubiquity, the starting point for any valuation is to compare it with similar businesses. I have chosen Apple and Google, given the similarity of their business models and their respective global dominance, to compare certain key metrics: