Meta Platforms Inc (: FB) made a high-profile Wall Street debut on May 18, 2012, when it was called Facebook (NASDAQ:). The initial public offering of 421.234 million shares was priced at $38 apiece, valuing the company at a whopping $104.12 billion.
Facebook’s Slow Start And Pick-up: Facebook had a turbulent debut session, marred by technical glitches and the stock moved mostly sideways for another year or so.
From the middle of 2013, Facebook’s stock began a steady climb until mid-2018, when the company was rocked by multiple scandals involving data privacy, Russian interference and fake news.
Facebook emerged out of all these challenges and the stock began tracking an upward trajectory in late-2018. The broader uptrend continued until early 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak hit stocks across sectors. After bottoming in early March 2020 along with the broader market, Facebook continued to rally strongly until August 2021.
The company came under pressure following a whistleblower’s claims the company knew that its family of apps, including the flagship Facebook platform, were used to spread misinformation, hate and violence.
Shares dipped following the disclosures and the company’s decision to foray into the metaverse did little to lift investor sentiment. The fourth-quarter earnings report released in February 2022 came as a shocker, as the company missed expectations on several metrics. Meta blamed the predicament on Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ: NASDAQ:) iOS privacy changes, macroeconomic weakness that forced advertisers to cut back on spending and TikTok competition.
Facebook, which renamed itself Meta Platforms in October 2021, has acquitted itself well with an encouraging first-quarter earnings report.
Related Link: Amazon, Facebook And 5 Other Internet Companies To Play The Top Tech Themes For 2021 And Beyond
How Facebook/Meta Key Metrics Fared Since IPO: Between 2012 and 2021, the company has grown its annual revenues from $5.09 billion to $117.93 billion. From GAAP earnings per share of merely 1 cent, the company’s bottom line has improved to $13.77 per share.
Monthly active user count has increased from 1.06 billion at the end of 2012 to 2.91 billion by the end of 2021. From 618 million, daily active users swelled to 1.93 billion.
Facebook/Meta Stock Returns Vs. Tech Peers: A $1,000 invested in Facebook at the IPO price of $38 would have fetched 26.32 shares. The same shares would be worth around $5,333 at Tuesday’s closing price. This translates to a return of 433% over the past decade. During the same period, the S&P 500 Index returned 213%.
Here’s how Facebook/Meta return compares to its large-cap tech peers*:
Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL): +821%
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: NASDAQ:): +997%
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: NASDAQ:) (NASDAQ: GOOG): +647%
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: NASDAQ:): +957%
*Closing price as of May 17, 2012 was taken for calculating the returns of the other tech giants.
On Wednesday at market close, Meta shares were pulling back 5.12% to $192.24, according to Benzinga Pro data.
Photo: Created with an image from Anthony Quintano on Flickr
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