These are grim days for Facebook: stock is tumbling, investors are backpedaling, and the personal fortunes of the Facebook founders are shrinking. According to Businessweek, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now worth $10.2 billion, down approximately $10 billion since the social network first went public. Meanwhile, co-founder Chris Hughes is now worth $437 million, down by $400 million at the time of the IPO.
In a companywide meeting this month, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the stock fluctuations were "painful" to watch, the Wall Street Journal reports. "Mr. Zuckerberg went on to tell employees that the press doesn't know the company's future plans, and if they did, they would have the same faith in Facebook's ability to fulfill its lofty stock-market valuation," adds Shayndi Rice of the Journal.
Facebook stock hit $19.69 on Thursday – a new low. Following the end of the first so-called lock-out period, this week a select number of early investors were allowed to sell their shares in the company. Facebook employees won't be able to sell until later this year. So what do the next few months hold for Facebook? Well, some analysts aren't exactly overflowing with optimism.
"This was the most anticipated IPO in many years and it was like an exploding cigar," Barry Ritholtz, head of research firm Fusion IQ, told the Los Angeles Times this week. "Every investor thought they were about to become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams, and they had this blow up in their face."
Ritholtz added that the high-profile failures of the company could dissuade advertisers from using Facebook as a platform.
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