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Facebook by numbers: Can I be Mark Zuckerberg's friend?

These are stories Report on Business is following Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. Get the top business stories through the day on BlackBerry or iPhone by bookmarking our mobile-friendly webpage.

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Mr. Zuckerberg, be my friend Facebook filed papers today for an eagerly awaited initial public offer expected in the spring, taking the wraps off the numbers behind the social media phenomenon that began in a dorm room and was built into a powerhouse over the past seven years. (Read the filing on the SEC's website here.)

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Here are some highlights:

  • Facebook now has 843 million active monthly users. Were it a country, its population would rank behind only China and India.
  • Facebook said it hopes to raise up to $5-billion (U.S.) in the IPO, a tiny bit of what the overall company is worth. The Wall Street Journal said the figure is a placeholder and will probably climb to $10-billion.
  • Revenue has climbed to $3.7-billion in 2011 from $777-million in 2009.
  • Profit surged to $1-billion from $229-million over the same period.
  • Zynga accounted for about 12 per cent of revenue.
  • Its ticker symbol will be FB, but it hasn't named an exchange.
  • Mr. Zuckerberg's holds almost 57 per cent of voting power.
  • Mr. Zuckerberg didn't actually make a lot when compared to, say, bankers, with last year's compensation just shy of $1.5-million. And his base salary is going to drop to $1 a year next year. But when you do the math, factoring in a valuation at for the company of what it hopes will be about $100-billion, and his stake of just over 28 per cent, the 27-year-old's holdings would be worth some $28-billion.
  • COO Sheryl Sandberg, on the other hand, earned almost $31-million, and CFO David Ebersman $18.7-million.
  • How it describes itself: "Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. Facebook enables you to express yourself and connect with the world around you instantly and freely. We build products that support our mission by creating utility for users, developers, and advertisers: Users. We enable people who use Facebook to stay connected with their friends and family, to discover what is going on in the world around them, and to share and express what matters to them to the people they care about. Developers. We enable developers to use the Facebook Platform to build applications (apps) and websites that integrate with Facebook to reach our global network of users and to build products that are more personalized, social, and engaging. Advertisers. We enable advertisers to engage with more than 800 million monthly active users (MAUs) on Facebook or subsets of our users based on information they have chosen to share with us such as their age, location, gender, or interests. We offer advertisers a unique combination of reach, relevance, social context, and engagement to enhance the value of their ads."

"We don't build services to make money; we make money to build better services," Mr. Zuckerberg said. "These days I think more and more people want to use services from companies that believe in something beyond simply maximizing profits."

Now, go watch the movie again.

EC kills NYSE-Deutsche Boerse deal Europe's antitrust regulators have killed the blockbuster marriage proposed by NYSE-Euronext and Deutsche Boerse.

The European Commission killed the deal over concerns of dominance in the derivatives market.

"The merger between Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext would have led to a near-monopoly in European financial derivatives worldwide," Joaquin Almunia, the EU's competition commissioner, said in a statement.

"These markets are at the heart of the financial system, and it is crucial for the whole European economy that they remain competitive. We tried to find a solution, but the remedies offered fell far short of resolving the concerns."

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The NYSE said today the two exchange operators are now in talks to kill their agreement, and that it now plans to resume its $550-million (U.S.) share buyback program.

"While we are disappointed and strongly disagree with the EU decision, which is based on a fundamentally different understanding of the derivatives market, it is now time to move on and return our sole focus to executing our compelling existing strategy – a strategy we have continued to implement without missing a beat over the last year," NYSE chairman Jan-Michiel Hessels said in a statement.

Manufacturing picks up The world's factories continue to churn it out, though not at any remarkable pace, while the differences among European industry are notable.

Manufacturing purchasing managers index released in China, Germany, Britain, the United States and other countries all showed some strength today.

China's PMI rose to 50.5 in January, compared to 50.3 a month earlier. The 50-mark is key in these readings as they separate contraction from expansion, and China's measure again eased fears of a hard landing.

"The significance is that the market was expecting a read of 49.6, indicating contraction in the manufacturing sector," Derek Holt and Dov Zigler said of the number in China.

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"While the 50.5 number is not staggeringly high (China's manufacturing PMI was lower for only one month in 2010, and ran higher throughout the entire period from March 2009 until October 2010), it is another indicator suggesting that the Chinese economy is muddling through and not experiencing the worst-case 'hard landing' that many analysts anticipated with dread."

In the United States, the measure rose to 54.1 from 53.1.

"It's not just China seeing an expansion in factory output in January," said senior economist Krishen Rangasamy of National Bank of Canada.." A now meaner and leaner U.S. manufacturing sector continues to increase output."

The differences in Europe, however, were stark, however, illustrating the various speeds at which those economies are operating.

In Germany, the continent's strongest and biggest economy, the measure inched up to 51 from 50.9, while France, Italy and Spain contracted, though at a slower pace in the latter two. Overally in the EU, the reading was little changed, at 48.8 compared to 48.7.

"But that number only draws more attention to the diverging economic within the European Community," the Scotia Capital economists said.

Target reaches deal with Fairweather U.S. discounter Target Corp. has reached a deal to stop a Canadian competitor from using its name, The Globe and Mail's Marina Strauss reports.

Target said today it struck the agreement with Isaac Benitah and his company, Fairweather Ltd., under which he will stop running his own Target clothing stores by Jan. 31, 2013.

CGI profit slips Canada's CGI Group Inc. got off to what it says was a strong start to the fiscal 2012 year, with almost $1.5-billion in new contracts, though lower profit and revenue.

Profit at the Montreal-based IT and business services company slipped to $106.5-million or 40 cents a share, dilute, from $126.7-million or 45 cents. Revenue fell to $1.03-billion from $1.09-billion.

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