commentary Facebook will report its first quarterly earnings as a public company today when the markets close. The hype is unbelievable. It's almost like the company's IPO all over again.
Here are 10 headlines to give you an idea of the type of scrutiny the social-networking giant is enduring:
- Facebook Efforts on Advertising Face a Day of Judgment
- Facebook stock: First earnings report will be crucial
- Zuckerberg, Facebook have much to prove in first earnings report
- Facebook earnings have a lot to live up to
- Facebook Q2 Earnings: Everyone In The World Is Watching
- Three Reasons the Facebook Earnings Report Will Disappoint
- Pressure mounts as Facebook readies to deliver first quarterly results
- Facebook faces major test with earnings Thursday
- Facebook's day of reckoning: 2Q earnings report
- Much riding on Facebook's first earnings report
I mean, come on. Whether or not Facebook ends up being the next Google was not decided when the company's stock first debuted, and it won't be decided when the company releases its first earnings report.
As such, I wouldn't read too much into today's results. I have a feeling Facebook will do better than most anticipate, but that's mainly because expectations are so low. Even if it doesn't, it's not the end of the world. Really.
Don't get me wrong. I completely understand why tracking revenues and profits is important. Especially when it comes to a unique company like Facebook: everyone is at least a little interested.
Furthermore, I wholeheartedly agree that investors have every right to pay particular attention today. After all, many of them have seen big losses since May. Those who stayed want to know if they can still turn their fickle Facebook fortunes around.
That said, Facebook is being so closely watched because it's such an exciting story. The social network has massive potential. If it succeeds, everyone will be talking about it. If it fails, everyone will be talking about it.
The point is, as everyone learned when Facebook went public, you can't make a quick buck with this company's stock. This isn't going to change two months later. It's simply way too early to tell.
Facebook may be the biggest innovator in social advertising, but that doesn't mean it's figured out the new market. The company is still experimenting, trying to see what works best, both on the desktop and on mobile.
If Facebook cracks social ads, and manages to get the industry to shift toward them, the returns will be off the charts. If it doesn't, and someone else does, the company will drop like a rock. Either way, neither is happening anytime soon.
For better or for worse, the social-networking giant isn't focused on its stock price. Let me remind you what Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said right before he rang the NASDAQ bell:
I just want to say a few things, and then we'll ring this bell and we'll get back to work. Right now, this all seems like a big deal. Going public is an important milestone in our history. But here's the thing: our mission isn't to be a public company. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected.
In other words, Zuckerberg doesn't care about his company's financial performance. He cares about building a solid product. The money will come after, assuming the young man succeeds.
So don't pay too much attention to this quarter, or to the next few. Once we have a few quarters of data depicting Facebook as a public company, then you can start to incessantly bob up and down. Until then, my Facebook friend, just relax and enjoy the ride.