By Eva Mathews
Meta’s stock fell 26%, erasing more than $200 billion in the biggest ever single-day market value wipeout for a U.S. company. That pulled down founder and Chief Executive Officer Zuckerberg’s net worth to $85 billion, according to Forbes.
Zuckerberg owns about 12.8% of the tech behemoth formerly known as Facebook.
His one-day wealth decline is among the biggest ever and comes after Tesla Inc top boss Elon Musk’s $35 billion single-day paper loss in November. Musk, the world’s richest person, had then polled Twitter users if he should sell 10% of his stake in the electric carmaker. Tesla shares have yet to recover from the resulting selloff.
At least 21 brokerages cut price targets on Meta after the company posted a weaker-than-expected forecast on Wednesday, blaming Apple Inc’s privacy changes and increased competition for users from rivals including TikTok and YouTube.
Following the $29 billion wipeout, Zuckerberg is in the twelfth spot on Forbes’ list of real-time billionaires, below Indian business moguls Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani.
To be sure, trading in technology stocks remains volatile as investors struggle to price in the impact of high inflation and an expected rise in interest rates. Meta shares could very well recover sooner rather than later, with the hit to Zuckerberg’s wealth staying on paper.
Zuckerberg sold $4.47 billion worth of Meta shares last year, before 2021’s tech rout. The stock sales were carried out as part of a pre-set 10b5-1 trading plan, which executives use to allay concerns about insider trading.
(Reporting by Eva Mathews, Akash Sriram and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)