Zuckerberg faces moment of truth
When Facebook issued its IPO we said that it was overpriced and its value depended on the social networking site making huge profits in the future.
We said that this was a fool's dream as the company had yet to come up with a decent business model and its online advertising was not doing as well as it should have been. Share prices fell badly soon after the IPO, but we predicted that worse was yet to come.
CEO Mark Zuckerburg has his first quarterly result to give to the unwashed and unfortunately he can't actually lie.
We think it is unlikely that Zuckerberg has managed to convince more businesses that the ads on its website and on its mobile application are effective.
As Reuters points out, One of the reasons we think this is that Zynga, which contributed to 12 percent of Facebook's revenue last year, reported disappointing earnings.
Wall Street analysts aren't expecting big surprises as Facebook warned investors before its IPO that analysts' expectations were too high.
Before the IPO, Facebook said its mobile users were growing at a faster pace than the number of ads on its mobile platform - which is not a good thing.
Analysts are expecting Facebook to say it made $1.16 billion. Not bad, but not worthy of a company with a share value of $38.
Other aspects to the call will be whether or not Zuckerberg can handle being in the spotlight in a conference call with analysts.
Wall Street is concerned that the sort of antics which made Facebook and Zuckerberg famous are exactly the sort of things they do not like to see from their CEOs.
If he gives the floor too much to Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and finance chief David Ebersman then they will give him a thumbs down.
Facebook is unlikely to miss Wall Street estimates, but if it does not beat them, then it will be in hot water.
To be fair, it has a difficult job this quarter. Online advertising, in general, is down. Mobile advertising is increasing, but this is cheaper than conventional methods. Investors and analysts who follow the earnings report will want to hear how the company can make money from its fast-growing mobile user base.
Our bet is that Zuckerburg will not impress anyone and shares will take another caning.
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