Market Overview

Facebook Drops Another 6%, But Why?

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is down another six percent this morning as investors abandon yet another tech stock after earnings.

The stock plummeted three percent in after hours trading yesterday after the company released its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 earnings results.

"In 2012, we connected over a billion people and became a mobile company," Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, said in a company release. "We enter 2013 with good momentum and will continue to invest to achieve our mission and become a stronger, more valuable company."

The company's four key bullet points were as follows:

  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.06 billion as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 25% year-over-year
  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 618 million on average for December 2012, an increase of 28% year-over-year
  • Mobile MAUs were 680 million as of December 31, 2012, an increase of 57% year-over-year
  • Mobile DAUs exceeded web DAUs for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2012

With more than a billion active users, Facebook is more than the most powerful social network in the world -- it is easily one of the most powerful companies in technology.

"What stands out from Facebook's Q4 results is the centrality of mobile for its service strategy and growth," Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum, said in an e-mail this morning. "Revenues from mobile advertising accounted for 23 percent of total advertising revenues compared to 14 percent in the previous quarter, with sponsored stories in the mobile news feed and app install ads proving effective. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) alone delivered 50 million mobile ads to customers."

Zoller said that the "solid progress" on mobile advertising should be "applauded."

Investors have a different opinion. While Facebook had been on the rise (it soared nearly 48 percent over the last three months), the stock began to fluctuate this month. Year-to-date, Facebook is still up more than 11 percent. That could change, however, if the company continues to endure daily losses.

Facebook's 4Q results surpassed Wall Street's expectations. This is quite different from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), whose results were just a hair below analysts' inflated estimates. In the days following Apple's fiscal first-quarter results, Apple dropped more than 11 percent.

As a result, Wall Street is once again sending the message that it is not interested in earnings. Rather, investors seem to care more about crazy rumors and big promises.

They may have been disappointed to learn that Facebook has no plans to make a smartphone. This is not merely a corporate denial; this is a fact.

Sometimes investors would prefer to hear about a fantasy -- even if it can never come true.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

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