Facebook’s stock is taking quite a tumble. Last Friday, it closed with a market cap over $537 billion. Now, after revelations about how the Trump-associated data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica mishandled millions of users’ data from the social network, Mark Zuckerberg’s company’s value is falling fast. Currently, the stock price has dropped nearly 7%.
For analysts, however, the market reaction may be somewhat expected–albeit in a less spectacularly public fashion. Andy Nguyen from Simply Wall Street, for instance, looked at Facebook’s projected growth to analyze the company’s real stock value. Nguyen found Facebook’s share price to be way overvalued–he estimates that the company’s stock should be worth around $126.16 per share. When he published the analysis this weekend, the stock was at around $185; Right now, it’s at around $172.
Similarly, Pivotal analyst Brian Wieser has also been saying that Facebook’s stock price is too high. His target price of $152 is a little above Nguyen’s, but still well below where it is now, even today’s price crash.
For both, they see Facebook’s growth being handicapped as it continues to scale. Facebook already takes a large share of the advertising market–so it will need to ramp up spending to not only maintain its industry dominance but also to grow its already-gargantuan user base.
Barring this weekend’s fiasco, Facebook has already been hitting a few walls. Time spent on the platform has decreased dramatically over the last quarter, which may give advertisers pause. Similarly, other platforms–like Snap and Amazon–are beginning to see real ad revenue improvement that will likely begin eating away at the Google-Facebook duopoly over time.
All this to say that this Facebook-Cambridge Analytica crisis may lead to a correction that’s been long in the making. Perhaps this market reaction isn’t so outlandish.