Facebook's value falls $148 billion after Q2 earnings call

Saturday, 28 Jul, 2018

That growth trouble, in turn, sent Facebook's share price down over 20 percent in after-hours trading.

For founder Mark Zuckerberg, the loss came to nearly $16 billion, according to Forbes, which tracks billionaire wealth in real time.

The $15.8bn in net worth that Zuckerberg stands to lose in the move is equal to the wealth of the world's 81st-richest person, now Japanese businessman Takemitsu Takizaki, according to Forbes real time data.

As part of its second quarter of 2018 earnings announcement on Wednesday, the company trumpeted a huge jump in both year-over-year revenue (42 percent) and profit (31 percent). Though privacy concerns are definitely real, as seen after the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, the real reason people are bailing on Facebook likely has more to do with their algorithm which censors the content they believe is "good for people's well-being".

Facebook had 2.23 billion monthly users as of June 30, up 11 percent from a year earlier, but well short of what industry analysts had been expecting.

Facebook hit the headlines earlier this year when it came to light that Cambridge Analytica had used data, harvested from Facebook users, to target USA voters with personalised political advertising, based on psychological profiles.

"The extent of the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the new European privacy law, known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is not yet clear. We are committed to investing to keep people safe and secure, and to keep building meaningful new ways to help people connect", chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said.

Other companies have, in the past, experienced similar plummets on the stock exchange, if not quite as severe as Facebook, who are now battling new data laws and public concern over their privacy policies. The last time the company missed revenue estimates was the first quarter of 2015.

Revenue increased 4% to $13.2 billion in the quarter. Now the social-media giant has added another one that it would have rather avoided: the biggest stock-market wipeout in American history.

During the call, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg tried to recast the disappointing earnings.

In contrast to Facebook, Amazon on Thursday in the U.S. reported a record profit and forecast plowing past analyst estimates.

Before the results were announced, Facebook's shares had closed in NY at $217.50, a record high, and had gained 23% this year.

While privacy was an issue in Europe, politics played a role in North America, which is the company's most lucrative advertising market. Most of its large institutional investors aren't panicking.