With its rocky initial public offering now a distant memory, Facebook said today that will make a secondary offering of its stock next week that could raise $1.5 billion. The company said in a blog post that it will sell 70 million shares priced at $55.05, using the proceeds "for working capital and other general corporate purposes." Meanwhile, CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to sell 41.3 million of his own shares, with the majority of the proceeds used to pay taxes on the exercise of his stock options earlier this year. Both sales are expected to take place Thursday.
Also today, Facebook became an official member of Standard & Poor's S&P 500 Index, which comprises common stocks picked by the financial company. The move, which follows several quarters of strong profits, means Facebook will now be traded as part of the index funds popular with mutual funds and other investment vehicles. Given the troubles Facebook's stock had in its early days as a public company, its inclusion in the S&P 500 is a sign that investors are putting their early worries behind them.