Last month marked the first anniversary of arguably the most anticipated initial public offering (IPO) since Google more than a decade ago. Facebook launched their stock with an overly bloated market valuation of $104 billion dollars and sold at around forty dollars per share. This week during the first annual shareholders meeting, the stock sits in the low twenties, as it has for months. This had Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the hot seat from grumbly stock holders wondering how Facebook will be able to return their investment. Zuckerberg splits business-running responsibilities with COO and Google-alumna Sheryl Sandberg.
The surprising aspect of the story of Facebook is that all the hype around the IPO is still dominating the impression of company performance. Revenue is gaining at the company in astronomical numbers, currently up nearly 40% from the previous quarter. The company is operating at a 15% profit margin, with over $200 million in net income in the last three months.
Performance like this from such a young company would normally be heralded as a huge success, but many shareholders are comparing their holdings to the fortunes made from Facebook insiders in the initial sale. Zuckerberg assured shareholders that Facebook has successfully been able to maintain high quality service and execution for computer and mobile users, and that plans for more revenue were in place.
Still, skeptics remain worried that the stock price is 38% below the value it was at 13 months ago, and are further irritated by the way the company denies any problem with Facebook’s business model. Mark Zuckerberg continues to seem out of place on Wall Street, especially when he made a point to tell shareholders that he does, in fact, care about making money.