This is what the stock market has come to, it appears: a simple public appearance by the company’s founder has given Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) shares a much-needed shot in the arm.
The social network’s stock has risen as much as 8% today after CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance at yesterday’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. It was the Facebook founder’s first public appearance since the company went public on May 18.
Zuckerberg talked about a variety of topics, including Facebook shares’ struggles since its IPO. But it wasn’t what he said that is driving the stock. Apparently, it’s how he said it.
One analyst praised Zuckerberg – never known for being the most charismatic public speaker – for being “calm, cool and collected.” Another analyst hailed Zuckerberg for his “upbeat tone.” Others gave the famously casually dressed CEO for wearing a neatly pressed gray T-shirt instead of his trademark hooded sweatshirt.
There was some substance to Zuckerberg’s words, however.
Zuckerberg declared that Facebook is now a mobile company, and said that how the company transitions to mobile devices will determine its overall success in the coming years. He also hinted that the company may enter the search engine business – an area Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) currently dominates.
Expansion into mobile and search platforms could give the company a lot more financial upside. That would only be good news for its floundering stock.
Since going public four months ago, Facebook shares have fallen roughly 50% from their $38 IPO price. The stock dipped to a low of $17.55 earlier this month.
Today’s rally, however, has pushed Facebook shares above $20 for the first time since the third week of August.
Maybe Zuckerberg should show his face in public more often.