Mark Zuckerberg Aligns Facebook Story With Mobile, Search; Manages To Reverse FB Scrip Fortunes

   on September 12 2012 5:22 AM
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
CalSTRS, the second largest U.S. pension fund, has raised questions about Facebook's all-male board. REUTERS

Facebook scrip (FB) seemed to rise against the tide as it posted a gain of 3.30 percent or 62 cents to end at $19.43 Sept.11, after its shares recorded a fall of over 2 percent in the early Sept.10 trade before recovering to close $18.79, down 19 cents or 1 percent. The sudden reversal despite co-founder Dustin Moskovitz selling shares seems to stem from CEO Mark Zuckerberg's earnest attempt to revive Facebook's growth story and reassurance to investors to align services that are mobile-friendly and oriented to further search functions.

Ever since Facebook's scrip (FB) debuted on street in May, it was hammered down leading to a loss of 51 percent as of Sept.10. But Zuckerberg's first public appearance on Sept.11, post-listing at TechCrunch Disrupt Conference for a half-hour interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington showed that Zuckerberg was committed to putting the company back on the growth trajectory amid growing criticisms of dismal performance ever since the company went public.

"Over the coming week and months, expect to see a lot of the cool stuff people have been working on," Zuckerberg said, adding: "We've transitioned, and are now a mobile company," according to San Francisco Chronicle.

Admitting that decision to embrace HTML 5 in developing its mobile versions were incorrect, instead of employing native code, Zuckerberg noted that Facebook users were using the media more on mobile devices than desktop.

The facebook shares jumped to $20.09, up 66 cents and 3.4 percent higher in the after-trading hours on Sept.11 following Zuckerberg's interview.

In the TechCrunch event that saw standing-room only audience, Zuckerberg indicated that he had no plans to launch a phone while seeing search as a big opportunity, with Facebook generating over a billion queries every day.

This seemed to pressure Google shares in after-hours trading Tuesday, StreetInsider noted.

Commenting on Zuckerberg's commitment, Colin Sebastian, analyst with Robert W.Baird noted: "Overall, we view his comments as largely upbeat, as the company makes progress with engagement and monetization of users on mobile platforms, a likely positive catalyst for shares. Nonetheless, Facebook remains focused on longer-term platform building rather than short-term financial performance," StreetInsider stated.

Acknowledging that Facebook's street performance has "obviously been disappointing," and undermined staff morale, Zuckerberg stated criticism about the company motivated him in a "perverse," way: I'd rather be in a cycle when people underestimate us, because I personally would rather be underestimated. It gives us good latitude to go out and takes some big bets and do some things that really excite and amaze people."

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