Facebook set to post first quarter losses after IPO disappointment
It is expected to report a loss of about $650m as it reports its first results since its rocky IPO in May.
The dive into the red comes as Facebook takes a $1.1bn charge for share payouts for staff and investors.
Its stock has been off by almost $10 from its IPO price of $38 in the weeks since it went public and is currently trading at $28.76.
According to the Wall Street Journal analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Facebook to report second-quarter revenues of $1.1bn on earnings of 12 cents a share.
Analysts are saying that Facebook’s net earnings, after the one time charge, will be down by 8% to $271m between April and June and that as many as half of the 36 financial analysts dealing with shares in the social network do not rate it as a ‘Buy’.
The call that Facebook executives will make to Wall Street on Thursday is seen as crucial to rebuilding its image, according to Bloomberg:
“This call is really critical for this company,” said Paul Argenti, aprofessor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business in Hanover, New Hampshire. “This is going to be an opportunity for them to really make a difference in terms of their investor relations strategy and set the record straight. They need to gain that momentum back and the exuberance that they lost as a result of the IPO.”
The call, at 5 p.m. New York time, gives management its first chance since May to make a case that Facebook deserves a higher price relative to earnings than 98 percent of the Standard & Poor’s 500. Shareholders will seek assurances that the company can keep users engaged amid rising competition from Twitter Inc. and Google (GOOG) Inc. and that it can overcome challenges making money from advertising on mobile devices.
Talk of Facebook revenues comes as the Nasdaq exchange revamped its proposal to compensate brokers that lost money when Facebook floated due to technical glitches at the exchange. It has boosted its payout offer to $62m cash.
That is a rise of $20m from its original offer $40m offer following criticism from Wall Street. However, the figure is still seen as low by some and will not cover the losses made by some.
Citing unconfirmed reports Reuters said UBS alone may have lost $350m on Facebook’s IPO.
According to the Sunday Times Facebook is also likely to warn that its advertising revenues remain under pressure as increasingly amounts of its users access via mobile and other devices.
Facebook has yet to work out exactly how it will monetise mobile, which is seen as crucial for its long term future.
Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview earlier this month at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, said his hardest job now is figuring out how to adapt Facebook for mobile devices.