VOTE: Would A $100 Billion Facebook Have An IPO?

Facebook’s finances continue to exceed all expectations, and that has some people continuing to speculate whether the social network would change its plans about whether or not to have an initial public offer.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg had plainly stated on his own Facebook profile that he doesn’t want the company to go public — this was posted as an answer to the site’s own Questions feature. But a look at his page shows that tab has disappeared. Hmmm…

Zuckerberg has thus far worked very hard to retain his ownership and control of the company, and also to maintain privacy of Facebook’s own financial records. However, a recent proposal by the Securities and Exchange Commission to allow confidentiality of a corporation’s finances might make an IPO more palatable, assuming the SEC’s suggestions become laws.

Additionally, an IPO might complicate Paul Ceglia’s effort to claim part ownership of Facebook through a lawsuit recently (re-) filed in Federal court, although the social network’s legal team plans to prove that said plaintiff has forged at least part of his so-called evidence.

So far, prior litigation by outsiders seeking stakes in Facebook haven’t had any negative effect upon the company’s value — major lawsuits need to appear in the disclosures section of any prospectus describing an IPO to prospective shareholders. (And most pundits believe that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ recent request for a rehearing of their latest appeal won’t have a different outcome than the last decision.)

All of these things together beg the question of whether Facebook might IPO. The social network appears likely to exceed the previously forecast $2 billion of 2011 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

These numbers might inspire lead investor Goldman Sachs to pressure Facebook to IPO, as The Wall Street Journal posits this morning. Certainly this month’s coming offering in the U.S. by Facebook’s Chinese competitor Renren could up the stakes.

We’re wondering what you, dear readers, think about the likelihood that Facebook might IPO. Please share your opinion in the poll below, which allows you to select more than one outcome and also input your own vote. Check back later to see how other readers are voting, and by all means, elaborate on your vote rationale in the comments section.

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