(Reuters) – Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg admits to being disappointed about his company’s crumbling share price, but argued that Wall Street did not yet grasp the full long-term potential of its slow-growing mobile business.
The 28-year-old co-founder looked confident in his first public appearance since the company’s rocky initial public offering in May, followed by a plunge of almost 50 percent in price. On Tuesday, anticipation ahead of Zuckerberg’s outing helped drive the shares up 3 percent after hours to above $20, building on a 3.3 percent gain in regular trade.
Clad in a gray T-shirt and jeans, Zuckerberg conceded that the company’s downward spiraling stock was not helping staff morale, but stressed he still thought it was a good time to join the company and “double down”.
“It’s not like this is the first up and down that we’ve ever had,” Zuckerberg told the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
Facebook became the first U.S. company to debut on stock markets with a value of more than $100 billion. But it has since lost more than half of its capitalization as investors fret about slowing growth.
Shares in the company ended Tuesday at $19.43, well off their $38 debut price. The stock crept above $20 in extended trade on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic and Gerry Shih; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)
Image Credit: Mark Zuckerberg by Eduardo Munoz of Reuters