Facebook owner Meta set for $200bn wipeout

Among worst in market history.
Image: Bloomberg

Meta Platforms Inc.’s one-day crash could rank among the worst in stock-market history.

The Facebook parent plunged 20% in early US trading on the back of poor earnings results, putting it on track to lose about $180 billion in market value.

While there’s no certainty the losses will hold, especially given the recent volatility that’s whipped across technology shares, a plunge on that scale by the close would rank among the top five biggest one-day declines for any company.

It’s a data point that illustrates just how tech companies have ballooned in size to become behemoths with unprecedented market power, and the drama that can ensue when they stumble.

Another way of illustrating the decline: a 20% decline in Meta would be more than the market value of 452 of the S&P 500’s members.

Meta “finds itself in the middle of a perfect storm” wrote Youssef Squali, an analyst at Truist Securities.

Traders abandoned Meta’s shares in droves after the company gave a disappointing sales forecast, fueling concern that it’s facing stagnating user growth and competition from rivals like TikTok. Twitter Inc., Snap Inc. and Pinterest Inc. all traded lower, putting pressure on Nasdaq 100 Index futures.

The stock traded at $256 as of 6:07 a.m. in New York, down from a close of $323 on Wednesday.

Meta’s market cap as of the previous close stood at roughly $900 billion. The company makes up one of the original Faang cohort of tech megacaps, including Google’s parent Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Apple.

It’s not the first time Meta shares have dropped dramatically. The stock plunged 19 percent in July 2018 on a slowdown in user growth, translating to a $119 billion decline in market capitalisation. At the time, it set the record for the largest-ever loss of value in one day for a US traded company.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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