A full week away from its first fiscal year earnings report as a public company- Facebook shares are holding fast around $30 a share. After the sky-high IPO and subsequent nosedive, Facebook has perked up over the course of January. And if you ask the CEO of Morgan Stanley - coincidentally the lead underwriter of Facebook IPO - its stock is "normalizing" at long last. The Q4 and fiscal year earnings will be reported on January 30 at 2 p.m. Pacific.
Facebook Recovers And Hovers
Facebook hit $30 a share on January 9, the day after the company sent out a press invitation to join Zuckerberg and company in Menlo Park. At the January 15 event, Facebook revealed Graph Search, the social network's so-called third pillar, which joins the ranks of Timeline and News Feed.
Facebook hadn't hit levels over $30 per share since last July. Last August, Facebook stock dove to roughly half of its IPO valuation of $38 a share. After weathering its big lockup expiration scare in November, it began a steady crawl back up through the end of 2012.
A Mobile Quarter
During its 2012 Q3 earnings call, Facebook declared that its strategy moving forward would be mobile, mobile, mobile. And true to its word, the company had a pretty busy mobile fourth quarter:
- Released a native Android app to join the new native iOS app (re-built away from HTML5)
- Launched Poke, a Snapchat-like disappearing-messaging app
- Announced Nearby, a reimagined local check-in and discovery tool
- Managed to put a tourniquet on the Great Instagram Almost-Exodus of 2012
- Added Photo Sync mobile photography feature
- Added free VoIP calling to the Messenger iOS app
In its Q3 earnings report, Facebook highlighted its intention to boost mobile engagement even further while zeroing in on monetizing its mobile product family (Facebook, Messenger, Camera, Poke, Instagram). On the call, Zuckerberg noted that 14% of reported ad revenue that quarter came from mobile, totaling some $150 million.
We look forward to hearing how the last quarter of 2012 shakes out during next week's earnings call, which should also be chock full of juicy fiscal-year revenue details and (hopefully) some hard stats on its number of active users beyond the billion mark.
Still, the company's stock remains down roughly 20% from its initial offering price. In a wild world in which the biggest social network ever created suffers the slings and unlikes of fickle investors, it's impossible to say what's just around the corner for the financial fate of Facebook.
Image by Taylor Hatmaker.