By Kevin Kelleher
March 18, 2019

Fresh off one of the worst weeks in its 15-year history, Facebook began this week watching its stock sink for the fourth straight day, falling another 3.5% to close Monday at $160.47 a share.

The past several days have brought waves of bad news for the social-media company in what the New York Time’s Kara Swisher summed up as a “biblically bad week“: the departure of top executives, including its chief product officer Chris Cox; a widespread, 14-hour outage affecting Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Oculus VR, and WhatsApp; a federal criminal investigation into its data-sharing partnerships with other companies; a U.K. report urging stronger regulation of Facebook and other tech giants; and a new ad-boycott over its hosting a live-streamed video of the mosque shootings in New Zealand.

Facebook closed last Wednesday at $173.37, its highest level since last August, according to Yahoo Finance. But the steady drumbeat of bad news has since caused its stock to fall 7.4% in the past four trading days, equal to a loss of nearly $37 billion in market value.

Facebook has endured periods of bad news before, including ones with a stronger impact on its stock price. Last August, Facebook’s stock lost nearly a quarter of its value in a single day after reporting that user growth had stalled last July. That began a slump that brought Facebook’s stock as low as $123 a share in December. While Facebook’s stock has since recovered to $160 a share, it’s still 27% below the record high of $218 a share it reached last July.

Adding to Monday’s decline was a critical research report from Needham analyst Laura Martin. “We are concerned that regulatory, headline, and strategic pivot risks will negatively impact Facebook’s valuation more than investors currently believe due to the negative flywheel created by Networks Effects,” Martin said. “A Negative Network Effect suggests that departures will continue.”

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