By the time the dust settled following Facebook’s quarterly announcement, the company’s stock price drop had erased roughly US$120 billion in market value—the largest single-day loss for any U.S. public company. Looking at various postmortems posted online about this historically bad day for Facebook, one might get the impression that user growth (or rather the lack thereof) is the main culprit, along with guidance that suggested similar results for the rest of the fiscal/calendar year. There is, however, more at work once you peel away some of the superficial layers—in particular, the bruising that Facebook has experienced from its more recent public relations issues.
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