Today is a big day for FB:NASDAQ.
The first earnings release after a pretty crappy IPO.
Needless to say, earnings and guidance must destroy expectations.
This is important for everyone who has a stake in the company – from those who had blind faith in the IPO and bought whatever meager shares they could, to the early investor billionaires and millionaires who were counting on a lot more than they’ve received thus far (greed’s a real pisser), to all the Facebook employees that have lost a bit of their swagger (and future riches) over the last couple of months.
In fact, Silicon Valley as a whole has lost its swagger a bit because of this IPO flop.
A blow-out earnings report would allow all those who were doubted and shunned to say “nah nah nah nah naaaah – told you so – we rock you suck, etc.”
Which makes me wonder, if, indeed, this is a blow-out earnings report despite what many analysts are predicting (consensus: not a blow-out), should the numbers be believed?
Is there a temptation by management and the number crunchers to goose things a bit for this very important first earnings report? Juggle some things. Move stuff around – make it up later. I’m sure they feel they’re smart enough to get around that little “random regulatory audit thing.”
They’ve got millions of made-up users – why not millions of made-up dollars?
There must be that temptation, right? I mean, how much could the SEC fine be in the scheme of things?
I’m sure the immediate reaction to such a wild, speculative (and probably fictional) premise is – “I’m shocked! How dare you presume that Facebook – with its long history of supreme ethics and outstanding morals would even dream of such a thing?”
Maybe it’s just me.
But if we hear on Thursday that there are now over 1 billion users – I’m just not going to believe it (especially when you take out the 200-300 million users that are either animals, aliases or fictional characters).
If they say that people are spending more time than ever on Facebook – I’m just not going to believe it.
If we hear on Thursday that advertising on Facebook has never been better and will continue to grow into 2013 – I’m just not going to believe it.
It is Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg’s job on Thursday is to convince us that things are awesome and getting ‘awesomer’ every day. And when they say that, I am not going to believe it.
But, truth be told, I am not the most bullish person when it comes to Facebook.
After all, I did write “Facebook And The Disappearing Valuation (A Fairy Tale),” and “Facebook Is Worthless,” and “Facebook Must Be Stopped,” and “All The Facebook’s Men,” and “Advertise On Facebook And Reach More People Than 10 Super Bowls,” and “Facebook To Reach 7.3 Billion Users By 2015,” and “Y Combinator Is a Stupid Idea” (I just threw in that last one for fun).
But you do have to wonder – it is soooooo important NOT to disappoint and pressure is coming from everywhere to make sure that they don’t.
Jill Kennedy – OnMedea