FB Stock Price
Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed the public and press yesterday (Tuesday) evening in his first interview since the social networking firm went public this spring, and he was a man on a mission.
Zuckerberg aimed to show shareholders, analysts, employees and members that Facebook has not lost its swagger.
Speaking at the TechCrunch conference in San Francisco, 28-year-old Zuckerberg, who has been harshly criticized for his lack of prowess as a CEO, appeared relaxed in his usual casual attire.
While Zuckerberg's speech sparked some excitement and lit a fuel under Facebook's floundering stock, sending shares up 3% in extended trading Tuesday and another 6% by 1 p.m. Wednesday, the rally will be short-lived.
"I certainly wouldn't buy this stock tomorrow," Simon Baker, founder of Baker Asset Management, told CNBC. "It's still an expensive stock-it trades at 30 times next year earnings. In fact, I'd sell the pop."
When Facebook debuted on the Nasdaq May 18, it became the first U.S. company to go public with a value of more than $100 billion. Since the epic IPO, it has lost more than half of its capitalization as investors agonize about waning growth, employee defection, lack of presence in the mobile arena, fading traffic and Zuckerberg's capability at the helm.
That's why CNBC's "Fast Money" regular and president of Metropolitan Capital Karen Finerman shared Baker's skepticism over Facebook stock.
Regarding Zuckerberg's comments about the Facebook mobile strategy, Finerman said, "Unless you think Zuckerberg can monetize mobile and no one else can-I would prefer to be in a stock that trades at a lower valuation."
Zuckerberg Shines Light on the Future of FacebookIn the half hour interview, Zuckerberg touched on all areas of concern.
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If Only Zuckerberg Chose a Catchier Facebook Ticker Symbol
If only CEO Mark Zuckerberg had used a bit more imagination when cooking up the Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) ticker symbol, its stock might have fared a little better.
Sound crazy? Maybe, but several studies have shown that clever, pronounceable stock symbols - think Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) - do better in the market.
The phenomenon is particularly true for IPOs, with the "fun name halo" extending about 10 days out from the stock's first day of trading.
Companies that choose a ticker symbol that doesn't form a pronounceable word - yes, like Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) -- often struggle. Generally speaking, the more jumbled the letters, the worse a stock does.
"[Our] research shows that people take mental shortcuts, even when it comes to their investments, when it would seem they would want to be most rational," Professor Daniel Oppenheimer, who co-authored a 2006 Princeton University study of the subject, told Psych Central.
While the academics who have studied this have not conclusively nailed down the cause, most suspect it has to do with something called "fluency," or how easily a person can process information.
People are simply drawn more to a catchy ticker symbol like YUM than a drab one like FB.
"It is possible that [people] are initially more attracted to fluently named stocks, that they pay particular attention to those stocks, or even that they favor those stocks because they have developed an association between easily processed names and success," Adam Alter, Oppenheimer's research partner, told The Wall Street Journal.
The Science Behind Clever TickersNaturally, not every stock with a clever ticker symbol outperforms and not every stock with a subpar ticker symbol underperforms. But the broad data show a surprisingly strong relationship between a ticker and how well the stock does.
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Will a Weak Facebook Earnings Report Open Doors for these Competitors?
We know investors will want a few key details from today's Facebook earnings report, like how much more user growth the site expects, if it can increase ad sales and how it'll tackle mobile usage.
But something people haven't questioned as much is if there are any competitors lurking in the shadows that could eat away at Facebook's online presence.
Turns out Facebook has reason to be concerned.
MarketWatch's David Weidner last week addressed some competition creeping into Facebook's world. In his article "Here's the app that could kill Facebook," Weidner detailed how an up-and-coming app could actually threaten Facebook's hold on social networking.
Tack this on to the list of reasons to avoid Facebook stock - in case you needed any more.
Path: A Facebook Threat?The app in question is called Path.
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What to Look for in the Facebook Earnings Report
The most highly anticipated earnings report this month will come July 26 when Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) releases its first results as a public company.
While the event won't garner the same kind of fanfare Facebook enjoyed leading up to its IPO, the projected numbers are already attracting a great deal of negative attention, and Facebook stock has fallen in the midst of some dreary expectations.
According to data from Bloomberg News, Facebook is forecast to report revenue of $1.16 billion, while profit is expected to have fallen 10% to 11 cents a share amid a slowdown in sales. The whisper number is for earnings of 12 cents a share.
Predictions for the company have been slashed in recent weeks as concerns of a slowdown in sales and user defections have increased.
Those cuts have weighed on Facebook stock. Shares on Tuesday slipped for the sixth consecutive day, eked out a small gain Wednesday, and were lower again today (Thursday).
"People are concerned about the growth profile. More risk is being reflected in the lower stock price," Benjamin Schachter, an analyst at Macquarie Securities USA Inc., told Bloomberg.
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You Might be Invested in Facebook Stock and Not Even Know it
Investors who boast that they were smart enough to avoid the hype of investing in Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) stock might want to check their mutual funds' holdings before relishing in their bravado.
According to data compiled by investment research firm Morningstar for The Wall Street Journal, some 160 U.S.-based mutual and exchange-traded funds bought shares of Facebook in May. And since only some fund companies choose to reveal their holdings on a monthly basis, the ones that chose to invest in Facebook will be disclosed over the next two months as fund companies file quarterly reports.
"Even if John Q. Public didn't buy [Facebook] directly, he may own one of the hundreds of mutual funds that did," Geoff Bobroff, a mutual fund consultant in East Greenwich, RI, told The Journal.
What is notable in many cases about the purchases, including those by lead underwriter Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), is that some of the funds that purchased shares wouldn't normally invest in a high-growth technology company like Facebook. And some wouldn't invest such a high percentage, like Morgan Stanley that had at least seven funds with over 5% of portfolio holdings in Facebook stock.
"That's a huge gamble," Michael Kalscheur, a financial planner with Castle Wealth Advisors LLC, told The Journal. "Are you really going to put an IPO as a top-five holding in a fund?"
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Facebook IPO Fiasco to Cost Nasdaq $40 Million
The Facebook IPO mess has become a costly ordeal.
After market close Wednesday the Nasdaq OMX Group announced it will pay $40 million in compensation damages to brokerages that lost money because of the Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) IPO fiasco.
Facebook's epic debut on May 18 was marred by technical glitches at its home exchange, the Nasdaq. After a great deal of anticipation, a rock-star like roadshow, and repeated SEC filings and re-filings, shares were finally priced at $38 each.
But there were problems from the first trades went off around 11:30 a.m. EDT. Executions were late, allotments askew, and prices delayed. Investors who did manage to get shares were disappointed when Facebook stock barely finished above the IPO price on its first day of trading, closing at $38.27.
Many investors felt misled and cheated. Scores have joined class action law suits against Facebook, Nasdaq, and the 33 underwriters.
But Nasdaq's recompense is being called a public relations ploy and does little to help individual investors.
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Facebook Stock Price Hits Low – Can this New Strategy Help?
After hitting a new low of $25.75 on Tuesday, Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) stock slid further Wednesday morning despite a nice rally for U.S. equities.
With the Dow up nearly 90 points right after the opening bell, Facebook shares edged down to $25.68 in early morning trading, reaching another new low. Shares now sit more than 30% below the IPO price of $38.
Weighing on Facebook Wednesday was news that the Nasdaq Omx Group (NDAQ) will tell brokers exactly how it will recompense investors for the myriad trading problems during the Facebook IPO frenzy. Problems at Nasdaq contributed to order issues that prompted several class action law suits.
But what drew more attention from investors was a comment by Ironfire Capital founder Eric Jackson. The analyst appeared on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" program Monday and said that Facebook will lose its dominance as a social network in less than 10 years.
Jackson highlighted Facebook's inability to make leeway in the thriving and prominent mobile arena, as well as the stock's steady tumble since the company's epic IPO.
The comments have triggered suspicions that Facebook will suffer the same fate as MySpace, once the dominant force in the social networking circle, and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO), once a leader in Internet search.
"In five to eight years they are going to disappear in the way that Yahoo has disappeared," Jackson said. "Yahoo is still making money, it's still profitable, still has 13,000 employees working for it, but it's 10% of the value that it was at the height of 2000. For all intents and purposes, it's disappeared."
Now Facebook has a new strategy to increase its reach - and its profits - but it's one that will likely raise some eyebrows.
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