Shares of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) set a new post-IPO low of $21.86 earlier this morning, not on any specific news, but on general ennui following last week’s weak earnings report and next month’s end of a lock-up period for some of Facebook’s pre-IPO shares. Some investors apparently believe that institutional investors in the pre-public Facebook can’t wait to unload their shares even at around $20/share. These shares could nearly triple the number of Facebook’s shares outstanding.
Facebook founder and owner of a majority of the company’s voting shares, Mark Zuckerberg, has publicly shown little interest in the woes of investors. After all, he got what he wanted when the IPO valued the company at $100 billion. His personal fortune, though significantly slashed since then, remains north of $20 billion, and Facebook stuffed its bank account with more than $15 billion IPO dollars. Why should Zuckerberg or Facebook, for that matter, care about the gripes of investors?
Why indeed. Zuckerberg never promised that the company would be run for the benefit of stockholders. He has maintained that building a great and innovative company is the only thing that matters. In the long run, that’s right, of course. But in the short- and medium-runs, unhappy shareholders can make a CEO’s life miserable, especially if Facebook has to start repurchasing shares out of its cash reserves.
Facebook shares are trading down -4.7% at about noon today, at $22.05. The previous 52-week range was $22.28-$45.00.