Facebook Inc. (FB) continues to be plagued by a slew of issues ranging from international regulatory scrutiny, user privacy issues, high-level employee mass exodus, and questionably toxic company culture. As a result of these overarching issues weighing on the company, the stock has become volatile with dramatic moves in both directions. The stock has traded over a $95 per share range during the past 52 weeks, logging a high of $218 and a low of $123. The magnitude of this move has been frustrating as one issue after another seems to impact the stock despite record revenue and EPS negatively. Pundits argue that the negative confluence of the issues above will drive up costs, narrow revenue streams and weaken the user base. The privacy scandal has already resulted in increased costs surrounding compliance, monitoring, censorship and scrubbing the platform from deceptive marketing.
Facebook has been mired in privacy scandals, public relations mismanagement, a conference call that wiped out $119 billion in market capitalization in a single session and a very public exodus of many high-level departures across the company. There’s a laundry list of mishaps originating from its data misuse scandal involving Cambridge Analytica as that continued to surface across the globe. Security issues affecting 50 million accounts, a lawsuit alleging concealing video admeasurements and increasing EU scrutiny plagued the stock. The list continues to evolve, and now there’s a report that Facebook stored user passwords unencrypted for years while its AI is still being refined due to its inability to remove the New Zealand terrorist attack video promptly before it was viewed 4,000 times. Additionally, Facebook’s network of products suffered an outage which impacted Instagram and Whatsapp as well as its flagship Facebook platform (Figure 1). Facebook has a lot of work ahead of its to reign-in all these issues and retain talent in what appears to be a questionable company culture. Continue reading "Facebook - Frustrating and Volatile Situation"