Before the actual initial public offering, it was one of the most anticipated and ballyhooed IPOs in recent memory. Following its debut as a public company, social media giant Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB) quickly became known as the company behind one of the most controversial and disappointing IPOs of all-time.
Just over a year removed from that IPO, investors still are not “friending” shares of Facebook. The stock is down 12.3% year-to-date despite a fine performance for the Nasdaq Composite. Or look at Facebook’s ongoing disappointment this way: The stock is down in 2013 while the PowerShares QQQ (NasdaqGM: QQQ) is up 10%.
Despite Facebook’s woes, an ETF that was linked at the stock’s hip even before the IPO is proving to be a winner. Facebook is the fourth-largest holding in the Global X Social Media Index ETF (NasdaqGM: SOCL) with a weight of 8.1%. That is not holding SOCL back as the ETF has posted a year-to-date gain of nearly 13%. [Social Media ETF Shakes Off Facebook Lockup Woes]
“Defections by teens to to other sites such as Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram and Whatsapp have been notable as Facebook has been labeled,” reports Diane Alter for Money Morning. Bad news for Facebook, but that those defections have not been a problem for SOCL.
SOCL, which debuted six months before the Facebook IPO, was the first ETF to hold the stock. That prompted some investors to think so goes Facebook, so goes the Facebook ETF. These days, that is not the case as SOCL is deriving strength from other sources. When the ETF first debuted, one of its selling points was that it offered international exposure to the social media sub-sector.
SOCL is benefiting from soaring Chinese Internet stocks, such as Tencent Holdings and Sina (NasdaqGS: SINA). Those two stocks combine for 22% of the ETF’s weight. LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) is SOCL’s third-largest holding and that has been a difference maker for the ETF as that stock is up 50% year-to-date.