•An even bigger deluge is coming. Thursday's lockup is just the first in five expirations. Today, 271 million shares were freed up. Another 247 million shares are unlocked on Oct. 16, and a deluge of 1.2 billion shares come on Nov. 15. "I've never seen lockup periods with so much stock," says Francis Gaskins of IPOdesktop.com
•Investors are focused on the lockup. The lack of a positive surprise in Facebook's second-quarter results and little forward guidance leave investors with just lockups to think about, says Mark Harding of JMP Securities. "The next big event is this lockup."
But while the lockup expiration is certainly capturing investors' attention, analysts are torn on what the reaction will be.
The expiration is unlikely to have any significant long-term effects because the stock is so depressed, Harding says.
Many of the large investors who bought the shares when Facebook was private in 2011 and early 2012 would take losses if they sold, he says.
The average price in early 2012 was $40 a share. The shares closed Wednesday at $21.20. Despite the looming lockup, S&P Capital IQ's Kessler upgraded the stock to a buy this week.