Facebook’s nosedive on the stock markets may have come to an end – at least momentarily. Things began badly after the IPO when the social network’s share value began a steady decline before levelling off some way below the opening price, but when the first lockup period for Facebook insiders began to reach their expiration point, there were fears that some huge shareholders would dump their stock.
It looked set to get even worse on Tuesday when the stock closed below $18 for the first time after analysts at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan cut the company’s price targets for the next year. However, just after trading closed for the day, Facebook released a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying that the captain would not be fleeing his sinking ship.
In the filing it was noted that Mark Zuckerberg has “no intention” of selling off any more Facebook shares for the next 12 months, and other Facebook insiders such as board member Marc Andreessen would also refrain from selling off most of their stock.
As a result, the stock went up by more that 4% in early trading on Wednesday morning. While this is obviously an improvement, it was a pretty dire situation to begin with – Facebook stock is still trading at less than half its IPO price.
The question is, how can Facebook effectively monetise what it does in a world where people are increasingly using mobile devices to access the service? This question will be playing large on the minds of those in charge, and those who hold stock. The news that Twitter will earn almost double the U.S. mobile ad revenue that Facebook will this year will not help investors sleep at night either.