Facebook experiencing crisis of confidence

The 'Like' sign outside Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters. (Matt Harnack/Facebook)
September 4, 2012 5:05:11 PM PDT
Public companies issue a report card every three months, outlining their profits or losses. But every day the stock market is open, they face a vote of confidence or skepticism. Facebook is experiencing a serious crisis of confidence.

It started back in may when CEO Mark Zuckerberg presided over Facebook's IPO, priced at $38 per share. Facebook was supposed to be a poster child for a big Silicon Valley resurgence thanks to social media. But Facebook stock has been a dud, closing Tuesday at yet another record low of $17.73, a drop of over 53 percent in just over three months or a loss of over $50 billion in value.

The New York Times and Forbes are doing some serious finger pointing. Forbes blames Zuckerberg, while the Times zeroes in on Facebook's Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman.

Facebook declined a request from ABC7 News to comment for the story, which Forbes San Francisco Bureau Chief Eric Savitz says underscores a critical issue.

"The fact that the company has not been particularly communicative with investors in the post-IPO period about what's going on, where are there issues, and really kind of stepping up to defend the company the company stock," Savitz said. "That just hasn't happened."

Facebook users say they see shortcomings, too.

"They have the revenue, but what really does Facebook have besides all that data? I'm not convinced they've figured out how to monetize that information that they have," San Jose resident Joyce Fee said.

"I think it is kind of losing its luster, but I doubt that, you know, where it's currently at with the stock is really going to affect the common user," Menlo Park resident Camille Estrada said.

Analysts don't see any heads rolling, especially not Zuckerberg's. But the blame game is in high gear.

"I'm not an expert, but I'd say it's probably everyone who's touched it and made a decision about the decision to move forward, so I'd say it's probably both," San Jose resident Denise Cranney said.

Facebook may choose to be quiet for now, but it will face shareholders when earnings come out at the end of next month.


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