Facebook may delay IPO until late 2012

Facebook is expected to eventually file for a public stock offering which could generate a ton of money for the popular social networking service. But Facebook and its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg don't seem to be a hurry to get that IPO started. The Financial Times reports via unnamed sources that Facebook doesn't plan to launch its public stock offering until September 2012 or even later in the year. The company was previously expected to launch its IPO earlier in 2012.

Unlike other companies who have delayed their own IPO launches due to the current poor economic climate, the reasoning behind Facebook's delay is due to internal business issues. The story claims that Zuckerberg wants Facebook's employees to concentrate on working on its various ongoing projects rather than having them wonder how much money their stock is worth.

Another reason why Facebook might not be eager to launch its IPO is that it's doing pretty well as a private company. Earlier this month a report claimed that Facebook generated $1.6 billion in revenue for the first half of 2011, about twice as much as it brought in for the first half of 2010. While the company is privately owned, it does have more than 500 stockholders. Because it has reached that milestone, the US Securities and Exchange Commission's rules state that Facebook must offer official financial numbers by April 2012. Most companies go ahead and launch their IPO when that stockholder requirement is reached but it seems that Facebook will be an exception.

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