Investors and insiders turned on Facebook Thursday, sending its stock plunging 20 percent near the end of the market day, costing the company more than $100 billion in value and founder Mark Zuckerberg in excess of $15 billion personally.
MarketWatch columnist Therese Poletti cited the “stunning disclosure of a revenue deceleration in the second half of this year.”
The “mind-blowing plunge” started Wednesday after Chief Financial Officer David Wehner warned that income wasn’t meeting expectations.
Poletti said the steep decline was “stunning not only because of the scale, but because Facebook had managed to avoid this type of punishment through a multitude of sins too numerous to fully list here.”
The company has been embroiled in controversy over the changes it made to algorithms that effectively have censored conservative voices.
WND reported earlier Thursday some “journalists” were enraged that Facebook didn’t simply banish news outlets such as Fox News.
The analysis warned that investors “aren’t sticking around for the effects that Wehner outlined.”
“Many analysts were rather dumbstruck on the conference call, with some stammering a bit as they asked questions trying to get their heads around a decline in revenue-growth that had long been presaged but never actually arrived,” Poletti wrote.
Look who is crying out for censorship by Joseph Farah
CNBC reported Facebook’s performance Thursday “was on track” to be the “largest one-day loss in market value by any company,” with its valued down $120 billion or more during the middle of the day, leaving a capitalization of $508 billion.
Previous collapses included Intel dropping $90 billion in 2000 as the dotcom bubble burst. Microsoft lost $80 billion one day earlier.
CNBC noted that the company reported a disappointing result for global daily active users, and the London Daily Mail reported the shareholder move to fire Zuckerberg as chairman.
“Investment company Trillium Asset Management, who has about $11 million in Facebook stock, filed a proposal on Wednesday to break up Zuckerberg’s role as both chairman and CEO,” the report said.
“The proposal argues that shareholders are unable to check Zuckerberg’s power given he holds roughly 60 percent of Facebook’s voting shares as both chair and CEO.”
It charged that a CEO “who also serves as chair can exert excessive influence on the board and its agenda, weakening the board’s oversight of management.”
Zuckerberg was the one calling the shots regarding the company’s response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The British research company scraped the personal information from tens of millions of Facebook users for political purposes.
The Facbook CEO also allowed the Russian meddling scandal to develop in 2016 in which Russian operatives bought Facebook ads to influence U.S. voters.
Significantly, Facebook reported its consumer base was dropping by millions.
Bloomberg reported Zuckerberg’s fortune tumbled 17 percent in the first five minutes of trading Thursday.
And the company said eight Facebook Inc. insiders have sold off some $3.9 billion worth of stock just since the Cambridge scandal was revealed in March.
Zuckerberg accounted for about 90 percent of the total, the report said.
The Dow Jones, meanwhile, was up comfortably while other market indicators were near neutral.