What happened on Facebook's nightmare conference call that wiped out nearly $150B in market value in 90 minutes

« Back

What happened on Facebook's nightmare conference call that wiped out nearly $150B in market value in 90 minutes 07.26.2018 19:14

facebook ceo mark zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw shares of his company's stock plunge after it reported earnings and discussed them with analysts Wednesday.
REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Pool
  • Facebook stock dropped a whopping 24% after it announced its second quarter financial results on Wednesday.
  • The plunge came after Facebook executives announced that the company expects a significant slowdown in its revenue growth in the years ahead.
  • Here's what happened during the disastrous conference call with analysts that saw Facebook value fall by as much as $148 billion.


Rob Price


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a new feel-good statistic on a conference call with financial analysts on Wednesday: Some 2.5 billion people — a third of the world's population — now use at least one of Facebook's products each month.

But that staggering statistic wasn't enough to distract investors from the bad news the company had to share — it expects significantly decreased revenue growth rates and operating margins in the years ahead.

The proof was in Facebook's stock, which during the call was down as much 24% from its price at the close of regular trading. In fact, the call with Zuckerberg and his colleagues only made things worse for Facebook, in terms of its share price.

An hour before the call started, Facebook announceddisappointing second quarter financial results . The company missed Wall Street's expectations on both revenues and its number of daily and monthly active users.

Its stock fell more than 8% on that news. But it stayed relatively steady after that, at least until the call started and David Wehner, Facebook's chief financial officer, started discussing the company's financial outlook. Wehner warned that Facebook expected its revenue growth to slow from the 42% pace it posted in the second quarter and its operating margins to fall from 44% in the period.

"Looking beyond 2018, we anticipate that total expense growth will exceed revenue growth in 2019," he said. "Over the next several years, we would anticipate that our operating margins will trend towards the mid-thirties on a percentage basis."

Facebook's stock really fell off during the company's earnings call

During the call, Facebook's stock dropped precipitously. Within minutes it was down 15%, then 18%, then more than 24%. At the stock's lowest point, more than $148 billion of the company's value — significantly more than the entire market cap of IBM ($134 billion) — had been wiped out.

Facebook's shares rebounded later, but at the time of this writing, they still remained deep in the red, at a little over 20% down.

fb stock
Facebook's stock plummeted if after-hours trading. Here's where it sits as of writing.
 Yahoo Finance

Three key factors are driving Facebook's expected revenue growth decline, Wehner said. First, Facebook is battling currency headwinds. Its overseas revenue got a boost in dollar terms as the dollar appreciated against other currencies last year. But the dollar's decline this year will reduce the dollar value of Facebook's foreign revenue.

Second, the company is placing more emphasis on Stories, the packages of posts and photos users can share with their friends that generally disappear after 24 hours. The company doesn't yet make as much money from Stories as from its news feed and other features on its site.

And then there's an increased focus on privacy and security, which Zuckerberg had previously warned could harm the company's profitability. New options that Facebook is offering users to opt out of certain data collection — inspired in part by a new privacy law in Europe — could lead to less advertising revenue.

Facebook's expected decline "is beyond anything we've seen"

As analysts pounded Facebook executives on the call about the company's expected deterioration in its financial results, its stock continued to sink. Towards the end of the call, a Jeffries analyst seemed astonished at the scale of the growth slowdown, saying it "seems the magnitude is beyond anything we've seen."

Wehner warned analysts not to expect the company's financial results to get better anytime soon.

The company will likely be posting sub-par operating margins for "several years ... more than two, less than many," he said.

It's a staggering drop-off for Facebook, and flies in the face of Wall Street's expectations. Earlier in the day, its stock had hit a new all-time-high of more than $218 a share. A few short hours later, that already seems like a distant memory.

- Это интересно
How much does consulting cost?
Venture and growth investors are doing a lot to speed up the rise of these worker-bots. So far this year, they’ve poured hundreds of millions into developers of robotic process automation technology, the term to describe software used for performing a series of tasks previously carried out by humans.

What if blockchain turned out to be just what emerging economies were after?



While Clinton certainly did not appear to be a Shingy-esque blockchain evangelist onstage, he delivered a targeted amount of enthusiasm about new technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence in enhancing accessibility and shaping the country’s economic future.

It might be the only way we can break Facebook’s hold on our lives, it could cement Apple’s reputation as a privacy-minded service provider, and more importantly, it wouldn’t be that hard to get people to use it.
Instagram’s co-founders announced that Adam Mosseri, the platform’s vice president of product, is now in charge. Mosseri will oversee all functions of the business and recruit a new executive team, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger said in a statement. The co-founders announced their departure last week — more than six years after Facebook purchased the company for $1 billion. “We remain excited for the future of Instagram in the coming years as we transition from being leaders at Instagram to being just two users in a billion,” said Systrom and Krieger.
2288 Homecrest Avenue 2FL Brooklyn NY 11229