FACEBOOK ANNUAL MEETING: Mark Zuckerberg Addresses Concerns About Stock Price

By David Cohen 

Facebook held its first-ever annual meeting Tuesday at the Westin San Francisco Airport in Millbrae, Calif., and Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg addressed shareholders’ concerns about the company’s stock price, which has never approached its initial public offering mark of $38 per share since its first day of trading last May 18.

Zuckerberg said in his remarks during the annual meeting:

We understand that a lot of people are disappointed in the performance of the stock, and we really are, too. It’s our job here to build a great company that’s going to not only achieve the mission, but bring a great financial return for all of our shareholders. We take that responsibility very seriously.

We have always taken a very long-term view of this. It’s taken us nine years to build the network to where it is now.

We think that over time, we’re building an asset and a network that’s increasingly valuable in the world, and in the long term, we will create value for shareholders by doing that.

Zuckerberg also repeated many of the same themes he discussed during the social network’s first-quarter earnings call about Facebook’s transition from a desktop company to a mobile company, the complete rewriting of its applications for iOS and Android, and Android overlay Home, of which he said:

We’ve started to plant some seeds with products like Home that can be future versions of how people use Facebook, and that only make sense on mobile. Home wouldn’t have made sense on desktop computers.

Aside from concerns about Facebook’s stock price, the most common subject in the question-and-answer session was user dissatisfaction with the social network’s News Feed algorithm.

Zuckerberg repeatedly stressed that the algorithm was a work in progress, and said of the results it produces:

Making sure that we show the best content in News Feed is a really big priority for helping people share and know what’s going on with their friends. We do rank the content that shows up in News Feed. We could figure out, by using our algorithm and seeing what most people were commenting on and liking, what the most important content was.

He also countered one questioner’s complaint about not consistently seeing content from their close friends by offering as an example the fact that important news from a more distant friend, such as the birth of a child, might otherwise be missed.

Readers: Do you think Facebook’s share price will ever reach the $38 mark again?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.