Facebook stock dives almost 20% on warning of slow revenue growth

Wall Street finally taught Zuckerberg the lesson he deserved

Modal Trigger Facebook stock finally tumbled last week after a long stretch of unresolved privacy issues. NY Post

Shares fell as much as 19.6 percent to $174.78, a decline that if sustained would wipe about $124 billion off the company's value.

In the Facebook stock sell-off, Zuckerberg lost almost $16 billion in personal wealth and some shareholders believe it's time the 34-year-old lost even more: his job.

The money the Facebook CEO lost is only one-fifth of his net worth, which has fallen to $70 billion. We expect Facebook to get back on track by the end of 2019, and expect revenues and profits to grow for many years. More so, Facebook CFO said that revenue growth would "decline by single-digit percentages" for the rest of 2018.

Social media giant Facebook, which has weathered storms about privacy and data protection, is now looking at cooler growth following a years-long breakneck pace.

The company said monthly active users rose to 2.23 billion, falling short of a consensus estimate of 2.25 billion from Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The company's shares also took a sharp hit in the days following the revelation that Cambridge Analytica had illegitimately gained access to the personal data of tens of millions of the company's users. Indeed, the drop Thursday morning was sharper than the multi-day stock slide in March following revelations of data misappropriation by Cambridge and others.

Zuckerberg has been struggling to right the ship for months following a string of privacy-related scandals; pledging to crackdown on "fake news", racism, and foreign meddling in the United States election system. That $120 billion plunge is the biggest-ever one-day loss in dollar value for a U.S. company.

Instagram users are not accustomed to clicking on links in posts, which makes the service less effective at generating online purchases than Facebook, said Erik Huberman, founder of the ad buying agency Hawke Media.

Trump denies foreknowledge of meeting with Russians
But in the taped conversation, which came two months before the election, Trump did not express any surprise about the deal. Trump's participation in obstructing investigation of that conspiracy already seemed clear.

Facebook said the slowdown would come in part from a new approach to privacy and security, but also appeared to acknowledge the limits of growth in advertising, which accounts for virtually all its revenue.

Overall, technology giants - Facebook, Apple, Google, Amazon and others - have enjoyed nearly unprecedented growth in revenue and stock price for years.

And the increased spending aims, among other things, to prevent a replay of the fake news and propaganda that Russian agents unleashed on an unguarded Facebook in an attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election.

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

It's official. Facebook just had the biggest stock market wipeout in American history.

Facebook has struggled in recent years with several privacy issues.

The revenue guidance from the company was "unprecedented", said Gene Munster, an analyst at Loup Ventures, in a note to investors.

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