Zuckerberg loses $18.8 bn in two hours, drops four points in Forbes list

Zuckerberg loses $18.8 bn in two hours, drops four points in Forbes list

- in Business, News, World News

Mark Zuckerberg lost nearly $20billion in just two hours on Wednesday.

The Facebook CEO saw his net worth tumble by $18.8billion, a record drop, in after-hours trading, taking him down four spots in Forbes’ World Billionaires List.

Zuckerberg woke up as the fourth richest person in the world with an $82.4billion net worth on Wednesday but was in the eighth spot by the end of the day.

The massive hit came as Facebook’s shares plunged by $150billion after the tech giant failed to meet Wall Street’s estimates for user growth and quarterly revenue.

The shares fell 16 per cent to $181.89 as of 5.30pm ET, according to Forbes.

Just 18 minutes later, it dropped to $167 – bringing Zuckerberg’s net worth to $63.6billion.

By Wednesday evening, almost $150 billion had been wiped off of Facebook’s market cap as a result of the stock’s plunge.

The disappointing results come in the wake of a data scandal affecting millions of users.

The firm’s top leadership acknowledged this as a factor weighing on user growth during the second quarter.

Total monthly active users came in at 2.23 billion, which fell short of analysts’ estimated 2.25 billion.

Users in Europe dropped from 377 million to 376 million, partly as a result of the new General Data Protection Regulation rules.

Facebook executives made investors even more nervous when they warned of further revenue deceleration in a call with analysts.

CFO David Wehner said Facebook expects to see high-single digit drops in year-over-year revenue growth during the next few quarters.

He cited the new GDPR rules, user privacy controls and currency headwinds as factors contributing to the deceleration.

Wehner reiterated that GDPR didn’t have a significant impact on revenues because it was implemented toward the tail-end of the quarter, but he said that could change in the coming quarters.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal prompted several apologies from Zuckerberg and generated calls for users to desert Facebook, which has grown strongly since its launch as a public company in 2012.

Ad sales in Facebook’s second quarter rose 42 percent to $13.04billion but costs, bolstered by moves to improve content and security after the data scandal, rose 50 percent from a year earlier to $7.37billion.

Total revenue rose 41.9 percent to $13.23billion, while Wall Street was looking for revenue of $13.36billion.

Ahead of the announcement, industry experts had predicted that the number of active users visiting the social network would either drop or flat line.

Facebook has never reported anything other than user growth in Europe.

Still, Zuckerberg assured investors that Facebook continues to see growth on its core platform, as well as its other properties, which include Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

For the first time ever, Zuckerberg provided user growth data on those properties, saying that Facebook now has 2.5 billion people who use at least one of its apps, referring to users who may have an Instagram account, as well as a Facebook profile.

“Our community and business continue to grow quickly,” Zuckerberg said.

“We are committed to investing to keep people safe and secure, and to keep building meaningful new ways to help people connect.”

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