Facebook Expected to Keep Stock Listing Choice on the QT

Facebook Inc. is likely to keep quiet for the time being about whether it will choose the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq Stock Market for its primary stock listing, the Wall Street Journal said, citing sources familiar with the situation.

As the social media giant prepares to file its first initial public offering papers, exchange operators eager for the potential fees and bragging rights of snapping up the much-anticipated listing will have to remain in limbo.

Facebook could file documents for its IPO as early as this week, said the report, with the possibility of raising as much as $10 billion in the deal, putting the company’s value between $75 billion and $100 billion.

It’s not uncommon for companies to hold off on deciding which U.S. stock exchange to use for a primary listing or to keep the decision under wraps for a period of time, according to the report.

Companies often compare the costs of listing with either exchange in deciding which exchange to choose. Another consideration is what type of promotions an exchange will use to increase a corporation’s profile, including events like the NYSE’s or Nasdaq’s opening and closing bell ceremonies. Exchanges also have other services available for needs such as shareholder relations.

Over the years, NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX), which owns the NYSE, and Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ), owner of the Nasdaq, have fought for top stock listings by offering incentives such as co-branding opportunities and prime advertising space. In 2011, NYSE snapped up LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD) and Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P), while Nasdaq grabbed Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ:GRPN) and Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA).

To contact the reporter on this story: Gina Smith at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com