Facebook share slide requires emergency treatment

My friend George Parker thinks McCann Worldgroup boss Nick Brien is angling for a job at Facebook.

If he is he’s better get a move on and forget all that gardening leave nonsense because post-IPO Facebook really is beginning to resemble a road crash and needs all the help it can get.

Slowing growth and a refusal to commit to financial targets have seen the shares, floated at $38, slide to around $20. You don’t need to be a highly-paid analyst to see that the value has almost halved and those Wall Street banks that found themselves left with more stock than they wanted (partly through glitches in the Nasdaq offer) are sitting on horrendous losses.

As are thousands of private investors of course and Facebook managers and staff who thought they were all about to become millionaires or better. Most have been unable to cash in their shares during the slide so they’ll be feeling even more sick with each succeeding day.

And it’s not guaranteed to get any better. The Facebook IPO valued the whole company at $104bn, 84 times earnings according to my colleague with the office calculator Paul Simons.

Paul wrote in May that he reckoned the company was worth $21bn, less than half of its current dramatically reduced valuation.

Maybe you’d better stay put at McCann Nick. Unless founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is thinking of going of course.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.