Facebook Inc.’s shares fell to the lowest intraday price in three weeks on concern that employees will start selling their shares when a prohibition on insider sales expires.
The stock traded down as much as 1.6 percent to $18.91, and was down less than 1 percent to $19.08 at 9:46 a.m. in New York. Restrictions on the potential sale of 804 million shares lift on Nov. 14, followed by another 156 million on Dec. 14.
Facebook has lost about half its value since selling shares at $38 apiece in an initial public offering in May. Current and former Facebook employees who have seen the value of equity compensation plunge can sell as lockups designed to prevent a flood of shares immediately after the IPO expire.
Another 47.3 million shares become available for trading in May 2013. Shares held by Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg aren’t part of the tally because he has said he won’t sell before September of next year.
The first lockup on Facebook stock expired August 16, freeing up 271.1 million shares held by early investors including DST Global Ltd., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Elevation Partners and Accel Partners.
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