Nonetheless, Monday's milestone, which took a long 14 months to achieve, left many investors giddy - and confused.
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Anyone investing in Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) stock on Thursday saw long-awaited gains – but here’s why they shouldn’t get attached to seeing green.
One of the most closely watched earnings reports comes after the close Wednesday when Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) earnings for the second quarter are released.
Those investors still betting on Facebook stock got hopeful news today as CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a Facebook video sharing capability - courtesy of Instagram.
"A small team has been working on a big idea. Join us for coffee and learn about a new product," read invitations sent from Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) to select journalists and media outlets for an announcement today.
The news was Facebook's attempt to capitalize on the popularity of video sharing - which has led teens, tweens and young adults to ditch Facebook for apps like Twitter's Vine.
Missing amid the numerous stock market milestones and seemingly unstoppable rallies since the start of the year is Facebook stock.
Tuesday marked the 20th consecutive Tuesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a gain. And, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, up 16.4% year-to-date, finished just nine points shy of its all-time high of 1,669.16 hit mid-month.
Meanwhile the Nasdaq, Facebook's (Nasdaq: FB) home exchange, has gained 4% in May and 16% this year.
In contrast, Facebook stock is down some 10% year-to-date.
Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) is starting to get a taste of what it means to be the king of the social media hill.
Small and more nimble competitors with novel ideas have sprung up and begun to entice young users away from the No. 1 social media platform - a bad omen for Facebook stock, which 11 months after its IPO still trades 29% below its offer price.
According to Piper Jaffray's annual "Taking Stock of Teens" survey, teens are spending less time with Facebook and more with a vast array of alternatives.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday approved Nasdaq's plan to pay $62 million in compensation to brokers for mishandling the Facebook IPO. The Nasdaq missteps during Facebook's (Nasdaq: FB) debut cost Wall Street a collective $500 million and firms have fought to recoup those losses.
The amount was cleared by the SEC after Nasdaq offered to pay more than is allowed under its existing bylaws. As a self-regulatory organization, the Nasdaq enjoys certain legal protections which could have resulted in a significantly smaller settlement.
One of the reasons Facebook stock (Nasdaq: FB) hasn't fared better since it started trading - it's off 25% from its $38 IPO price - is the company's failure to profit from increased mobile activity among users.
But now, less than a year after Facebook's acknowledgement that it needed to monetize its growing mobile member usage, the company bills itself as a truly mobile company.
They say third time's the charm, but no such luck for Facebook stock, which fell even though the company's third earnings report since going public beat expectations.
The numbers failed to charm Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) investors who expected the report would offer more to like, and analysis who found plenty of concern in the expenses.
The social networking giant posted earnings per share of 17 cents, better than the consensus of 15 cents. Revenue came in at $1.59 billion, up 40% year over year, and ahead of forecasts for $1.53 billion. However, fourth quarter profit slumped 79%, dragged down by higher costs.
How about paying a dividend?
It marked the fourth time a torrent of the social networking giant's shares were let loose for trading since the company's hugely hyped initial public offering (IPO) on May 18 at $38 a share.
The reaction to the sizable release of shares has been mixed.
That's because on Dec. 12, shares of the world's largest social networking company will be added to the Nasdaq 100 Index.
Facebook will have some very good company in the index, joining tech behemoths Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). It'll rank 13th by market value ($60 billion).
Snagging a spot in the coveted index, a compilation of the 100 most valuable non-financial stocks traded on the Nasdaq, is the latest in a string of welcome news for Facebook shareholders, especially those bruised in its initial public offering fiasco on May 18.
And the news couldn't have come at a better time for shareholders.
The end of the lockup period (used to reduce trading volatility immediately after an IPO) will kick off with up to 271 million shares flooding the market on the sell-side. More shares will become available over the next few months, compared with less than 500 million currently authorized for trading.
Investors who got in early and paid a mere pittance for the stock may race to cash in despite Facebook's steady decline since its legendary May 18 initial public offering at $38 a share. Since the fabled IPO, which morphed into a trading fiasco, shares have lost some 40% of their value.
The flood of shares ready to be unlocked is off-putting for some potential buyers.
"It's one of the No. 1 issues on investor's minds right now," Herman Leung of Susquehanna International Group told Bloomberg News. "Even the investors that I talk to who want to buy the stock and like the company are not sure if they can stomach the lockups."