Unhappy with Facebook’s first financial report as a public company on Thursday, investors fled the stock in droves even as Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, extolled its growth prospects to industry analysts.
Facebook’s stock lost 18% of its value on Thursday. The first blow came during regular trading largely because of the poor results posted by Zynga, the social game company that uses Facebook as a platform.
But the stock continued to plummet in after-hours trading after Facebook announced its own numbers, dipping below $24, a record low. Since going public two months ago at $38 a share, Facebook shares have lost 37% of their value.
The company said its revenue for the quarter climbed to $1.18 billion, from $895 million; most of it came from advertising.
The company reported a net loss of $157 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with net income of $240 million, or 11 cents a share for the same quarter last year. Much of that was because of stock compensation, and on an adjusted basis, the company posted a profit of 12 cents a share, or $295 million, meeting analysts’ expectations.
Zuckerberg has rarely spoken publicly about the company he built in his dorm room eight years ago. But nothing he and his lieutenants said on Thursday about their plans to make money by advertising to Facebook users seemed to reassure investors.
“Obviously we’re disappointed about how the stock is traded,” said David Ebersman, the chief financial officer. “But the important thing for us is to stay focused on the fact that we’re the same company now as we were before.” (New York Times)