As the entire financial world remains atitter about the upcoming Facebook IPO, numbers are flying around about pricing and valuation. In essence, the initial pricing will determine how valuable Facebook thinks it is as a company, and the early predictions are staggering. Early estimates have Facebook raising some $10 billion for a total market cap of between $75 and $100 billion. But what does that mean, exactly? How big is that sort of valuation? Here's a list of some major American companies that have market caps at approximately the same levels just to give some context to that number.
Verizon is currently valued at just over $105 billion as a company, a number that reflects the fairly massive mobile phone business it controls.
McDonald's Corporation (MCD)
The Golden Arches belong to company that's reached a value just over the number of burgers their signs indicate they've sold. McDonalds has clearly gone on to serve more than 100 billion, and the company's market cap is currently just under $101 billion.
This megabank based out of Manhattan commands a total market value of just over $90 billion.
Finally, another website. Amazon's current market cap is just under $90 billion, but it's interesting to note where Facebook might fall in relation to the company. Facebook clearly won't be able to touch Google (GOOG) as the most valuable internet company in the world (Google's market cap is just under $190 billion), but beating out Amazon would at least give Facebook the number two spot.
While not quite as ubiquitous as, say, McDonald's, it's still hard to think of many companies that play a comparable role in the life of an average American than Visa. The credit card company is currently valued at $82 billion, putting it near the lower end of the potential Facebook valuation.
Bank of America (BAC)
Bank of America could be America's least popular bank after the flap over potential debit card fees last year. Now, the company is still in the middle of a pretty substantial downswing, losing nearly 60 percent of its share value in 2011. This means that, should the bank recover, there's a good chance its market cap will overtake Facebook (or not, depending on how the market reacts to the first chance to get shares in Mark Zuckerberg's company), but it's currently valued at $76.8 billion.
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