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.
If losses hold at that level Mark Zuckerberg’s firm will earn the dubious honour of having suffered the largest single-day fall in value of any company in US stock market history.
Investors frantically sold Facebook shares in after-hours trading on Wednesday, pushing the company’s price down 18 per cent by the time the bell went on the New York Stock Exchange.
The precipitous decline was triggered by Facebook’s announcement that revenue gains would lag behind spending growth, meaning lower profits. It also said growth in user numbers would slow down.
Zuckerberg will be able to take comfort from the fact that Apple is now valued at more than three times the amount it was after its $60bn blip while Exxon is trading around 30 per cent up on its price in October 2008.
Still reeling from a backlash against its handling of fake news and privacy scandals, Facebook delivered further bad news on Wednesday in the form of its slowest growth in user numbers for more than two years.
However, that still meant facebook had 2.23 billion monthly active users – almost a third of the population of the planet – at the end of June, 11 per cent more than it had a year earlier.