Morning Business Memo

Feb 2, 2012 8:00am

Eight years after Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook in a Harvard dorm room, he could be worth at least $28 billion. Zuckerberg owns 28 percent of Facebook shares, according to paperwork filed by the company in connection to its long-anticipated initial stock offering.

The social networking site hopes to raise up to $10 billion when shares are sold to the public several months from now. The IPO filing could value the firm at as much as $100 billion. It could be May before Facebook finds out how many big investors are among its friends.

The company made $1 billion in profit last year, mostly from advertising. The site hopes to increase display ads on its site. But the challenge is to keep Facebook’s 800 million users happy.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to testify today before the House Budget Committee. He’s expected to talk about the state of the economy. And he will likely face questions from Republicans on recent comments he made about tolerating a certain amount of inflation to help lower the unemployment rate.

The Institute for Supply Management survey says U.S. factories raised output in January by the most in seven months. But these are tough times at American Airlines. Its parent company will seek to eliminate 15 percent of the workforce and terminate pensions. AMR Corporation is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, looking at ways to cut costs. The company lost $884 million in the first nine months of 2011, and $904 million for December alone.

A Southern California woman who filed a small-claims action against Honda won her lawsuit when a judge ruled the automaker misled her about the potential fuel economy of her hybrid car. Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Douglas Carnahan awarded Heather Peters $9,867, much more than the couple hundred dollars in cash that a proposed class-action settlement is offering. “At a bare minimum, Honda was aware … that by the time Peters bought her car there were problems with its living up to its advertised mileage,” Carnahan wrote in the judgment. Honda plans to appeal the decision.

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