The shares of the world’s No. 1 social network touched a record high of $76.74 on Thursday after earnings and revenues easily topped analysts’ forecasts, boosting its market value to nearly $194 billion.
Facebook, which was founded in 2004 is now bigger than such decades old bellwethers as Coca-Cola and Disney. Facebook tops the Coca-Cola Co. by about $15 billion and Disney by more than $40 billion.
“A 100-year-old company with real assets versus a company admittedly with virtual assets and they are trading at the same market cap – crazy,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, according to mybroadband.
The speed of Facebook’s rise to mega-cap status is what’s notable. It took Apple Inc nearly three decades to achieve such a market value; Google Inc needed five years.
The gains represent a reversal of fortune for the social media company. After a botched IPO that infuriated investors in May 2012, the stock slumped, underperforming for 15 months before finally eclipsing its offering price of $38 in August 2013. Since then, Facebook shares have been unstoppable, doubling in less than a year.
Analysts argue that Facebook’s late 2012 rejuvenation of its mobile strategy is finally paying off. With over a billion mobile users globally and over 52 million users in Africa, they have brought a paradigm shift in the way retailing, social media and bundling virtually every other component of people’s lives.
Nonetheless, Facebook is the most visited website in Africa. On the other hand, Coca-Cola is the leading beverages company on the continent but that doesn’t save it from being toppled on the global market.
Investors in Africa haven’t perhaps heard success stories of African companies that have had massive over the roof experiences. Not even those that have IPO’d on the International financial markets. That is why the recent wave of entrepreneurship evangelists like Telcom mogul Strive Masiyiwa are rooting for investments in technology above else. They want to see African founded companies climb the global ladder.
“The amount of cash held by the top four tech companies, like Apple, Google, Facebook and Samsung, is more than all the economies of Africa, as well as all the economies of Latin America.”
Image: Coca-Cola Facebook page