Facebook shares up, but value down by a third: Ready for the IPO?

Facebook looks like its worth close to $10 billion right now, based on actual transactions in the stock. The social networking site has seen its shares surge on an exchange for private companies, suggesting that the company is perceived to be headed in the right direction. Of course, private companies don't have to disclose all their dirty laundry, so assume that the current "market" value is based on only the rosiest of impressions. Some see this as a leading indicator of a Facebook IPO, which is bound to ignite unparalleled excitement.

There's room for a little common sense, though, and investors should take advantage of it. Facebook remains down 33% from its 2007 peak value of $15 billion, and the recent trading activity implies a value slightly below that defined by the latest investment in the company. It probably makes sense to keep the corks in the champagne bottles a little bit longer, but only because the vintage isn't quite right yet.