Facebook Demand Less Than Expected

As IPO nears, institutional investors said to be worried about the company’s growth prospects.

Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering has so far generated lower-than-expected demand from institutional investors who are concerned about the company’s growth prospects, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Some investors expressed reluctance after Facebook said on May 9 that advertising growth hasn’t kept pace with the increase in users, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. Facebook is also telling analysts that sales may not meet their most optimistic projections, two people said.

Slackening Growth

Facebook is offering 337.4 million shares at $28 to $35 each. The shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol FB. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are leading the sale.

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