Zuckerberg's net worth is down $70 billion this year; another $10 billion could disappear tomorrow
This has not been a good year for Mark Zuckerberg's wallet. Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, which allows iPhone users to opt-out of being tracked for the purpose of receiving personalized advertising, is expected to cost Facebook $10 billion in revenue this year. That is a mighty big chunk of change and led investors to dump Meta's stock.
Zuckerberg could lose another $10-11 billion when the market opens Thursday morning
Since the beginning of the year, Meta's stock has declined 61.7% dropping from $338 to the current price of $129.82. That decline has cost Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg a whopping 70% of his net worth. And things will get even worse tomorrow morning. After the markets closed in New York this afternoon, Meta dropped a stinker of a third-quarter earnings report sending the stock down in after-hours trading to $104.30 for a $25.22 decline or nearly 20%.
2022 has been a tough year for Meta shareholders
Not including what the damage will be tomorrow morning, Zuckerberg's net worth has declined from $125 billion to $55.3 billion since the start of the year. Tomorrow morning, Zuckerberg could take another $10 billion hit although he still might not need you to start a Go Fund Me page for him.
Meta reported $27.71 billion in third-quarter revenue which was a 4% decline from the $29.01 billion that the company grossed during the same time period last year. Still, it topped the $27.38 billion estimate made by Wall Street analysts. Operating margin, the percentage of profit remaining after subtracting costs, dropped to 20% from 36% a year earlier. Net income took a big hit, declining 52% from last year's $9.19 billion during Q3 to $4.40 billion during this year's third-quarter.
Earnings per share during the three months from July to September this year fell 49% to $1.64 from the $3.22 Meta reported during the 2021 third quarter. Wall Street forecast that Meta would report earnings per share of $1.89. That 25 cents a share shortfall was part of the reason for the stock's huge decline.
Other problems included Meta reporting average revenue per user of $9.41, short of the $9.83 that Wall Street was looking for. The number of Daily Active Users (DAUs) met estimates of 1.98 billion people during Q3 while at 2.96 billion the number of Monthly Active Users actually topped forecasts of 2.94 billion.
Meta could open tomorrow at its lowest stock price since November 2015
Commenting on the results for the third quarter, Zuckerberg said, "Our community continues to grow and I'm pleased with the strong engagement we're seeing driven by progress on our discovery engine and products like Reels. While we face near-term challenges on revenue, the fundamentals are there for a return to stronger revenue growth. We're approaching 2023 with a focus on prioritization and efficiency that will help us navigate the current environment and emerge an even stronger company."
Besides owning Facebook, Meta also owns Instagram which it bought for only $1 billion in 2012. With an estimated value of $102 billion, the purchase of Instagram is considered one of the best acquisitions (if not the best) made in the tech industry. A bit over two years later, Facebook closed on its purchase of WhatsApp, a deal that cost the social media company $21 billion by the time the deal closed.
Also helping to take Meta's shares down in after-hours trading was the company's forecast that fourth-quarter revenue would be in the range of $30 billion to $32.5 billion. Wall Street was predicting that Meta's gross for the current quarter would be $32.2 billion.
If Meta does open tomorrow at around $104, it will be the lowest price since November 2015 or approximately seven years ago. If you're Mark Zuckerberg, tonight is just another bad night from a bad year that has seen his standing among the world's richest people decline to number 20. This is a good example of how those entrepreneurs who see their wealth grow exponentially due to the stock they own in the company they founded, can easily see the process work in reverse when the shares fall.