Facebook market value shrinks by $119 billion in biggest single day loss


Wednesday's drop has shares trading at levels seen just before a data-privacy scandal surrounding the firm Cambridge Analytica and its role in Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election surfaced. The results were among the first signs that the issues had pierced the company's image and would have a lasting effect on its moneymaking machine.

Facebook's value was down by $111bn when Wall Street opened on Thursday, one of the most dramatic share price declines in history, after the social networking firm reported slowing growth in user numbers following a string of recent scandals.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg's fortune has shrunk by nearly $16 billion after the social network was clobbered by the biggest one-day price drop in stock market history.

Describing the announcements as "bombshells", Baird analysts said the issues were to a large degree "self-inflicted" as Facebook sacrifices its core app monetization to drive usage.

7 26 18 biggest market cap drops COTD
Business Insider Joe Ciolli Andy Kiersz data from Bloomberg

Facebook CFO David Wehner told investors revenue growth would decline significantly over the next few quarters, and that Facebook's operating margin would drop from 44% in Q2 to the mid-30% range over a time frame of more than the next two years. Revenue fell short of expectations, coming in at $13.23 billion versus the $13.36 billion analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting.

Mark Zuckerberg is also counting the cost of user disenchantment with Facebook.

Facebook sharply reduced its growth outlook, but some analysts say the company is being overly conservative.

Company shares fell 19 percent Thursday. "We are committed to investing to keep people safe and secure, and to keep building meaningful new ways to help people connect", said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement.

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However, to put that in another context, the fall does only drag Facebook shares to the price they were trading at on May 4, before a solid rally took its share price to a record high.

After these events, several senior leaders have departed Facebook, including a board director, its chief information security officer, and its vice president of communications, marketing and public policy.

Facebook is now down 3.2% this year.

Facebook is one of Ireland's biggest private-sector employers, with close to 7,000 staff in Dublin. Revenue growth may slow in the back half of 2018, but do not extrapolate too much from there.

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Facebook has other bright spots.

Leonard Lauder - chairman emeritus of Estee Lauder Cos Inc., one of the largest makers of cosmetics and fragrances globallyZhang Zhidong - co-founder of Tencent Holdings Ltd. and has a net worth of $16.2 billion. The company held a almost $140 billion lead on Berkshire Hathaway, the sixth largest, at the end of trading on Wednesday.

Despite missing targets, it appears that scandals such as Cambridge Analytica haven't severely affected Facebook's ability to make money, nor has it caused a mass exodus-22 million extra people used the site each day compared to the previous quarter.

Still, the challenge will be how to stem further losses.

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