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Facebook Stock Suffers Largest One-Day Drop In History, Shedding $119 Billion

(CBSNEWS) - Facebook lost about $119 billion of its value on Thursday, marking the biggest one-day loss in U.S. market history.

The company's shares plunged $41.24, or almost 19 percent, to $176.26 a day after the social media giant reported disappointing results. The slide is the largest decline in market capitalization in history, exceeding Intel's $91 billion single-day loss in September 2000, according to Bloomberg data.

Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his fortune drop by $15.9 billion to roughly $71 billion. His personal loss alone, if only on paper, exceeds the value of companies such as Molson Coors and Macy's, which have market values of $14 billion and $12 billion, respectively.

Investors were spooked by Facebook's forecast showing that its number of active users is growing less quickly than expected, while the company also took a hit from Europe's new privacy laws.

The report, which marked Facebook's first full quarter since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, startled investors with a bevy of red flags about setbacks to its revenue and user growth. Indeed, the drop Thursday morning was sharper than the multi-day stock slide in March following revelations of data misappropriation by Cambridge and others. (Facebook shares dropped 17.8 percent then, bottoming out at $151.65 on March 28.)

"The perceived narrative surrounding Facebook has changed after yesterday's earnings announcement," said Jeff Henriksen, managing partner at Thorpe Abbotts Capital. "The market seems to be questioning the quality of growth seen in the past."

The share collapse merely returned Facebook shares to a level last seen in early May, a sign of just how bullish investor expectations had been running. At that time, the stock was still recovering from an earlier battering over a major privacy scandal.

Facebook is hardly a stranger to a volatile stock price and has rebounded from previous mishaps, including Cambridge Analytica. While several analysts downgraded the stock, others say they still have faith in the company to grow over the long-term.

"Even the best hitters strike out sometimes," wrote Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, who lowered his 12-month price target to $250 from $275, in a research report. "In our view, the sell-off is overdone and largely unwarranted."

Still, investors weren't prepared for many of the bombshells dropped by Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner.


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