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Facebook expected to raise IPO range to $34-$38 a share

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — In a sign of strong demand from investors for shares in its upcoming initial public offering, Facebook is raising the target price range for its stock, according to two news reports.

Facebook now expects to price its shares at $34 to $38 each, up from the $28 to $35 range it set earlier this month, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and Reuters late Monday

Many Facebook employees and executives, including founder Mark Zuckerberg, hold unexercised stock options. The company itself is also holding some shares for future employee equity grants. If all of those shares were exercised, Facebook’s outstanding share count would rise to around 2.8 billion, pushing its valuation closer to $106.4 billion.

Facebook’s proposed IPO price range isn’t binding, and it could rise further if demand is heavy. The company expects to set its final price Thursday evening.
How big does Facebook really have to get?

That’s the price at which Facebook’s underwriters will sell shares to their clients, which typically include large institutional investors, mutual funds and hedge funds.

Retail investors will get access to Facebook shares the next morning, when the stock begins publicly trading on the Nasdaq exchange. That is currently on track to happen on Friday.

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