It seems the honeymoon is already over for Mark Zuckerberg.
In the three days since his wedding – held the day after Facebook’s £65billion flotation on the stock market – the firm’s value has slumped by more than £12billion.
It meant Mr Zuckerberg’s personal fortune had fallen by £1.3billion in the middle of the day’s trading, as he saw his company’s share price tumble well below its £24 opening on Friday.
Some investors were down by as much as 25 per cent.
The news from Wall Street may rather have taken the shine off his first days of wedded bliss.
The Facebook founder married 27-year-old Priscilla Chan, his girlfriend of nine years, on Saturday.
The ceremony, at the couple’s home in Palo Alto, California, was so secret that even the guests didn’t know they would be attending a wedding.
On Friday Mr Zuckerberg’s personal fortune soared to £12billion, as the 28-year-old’s social networking site floated on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.
When its 421million shares opened at the start of trading they were initially priced at £24, hitting a high of more than £28.
But while Mr Zuckerberg no doubt spent the weekend celebrating his nuptials and his good fortune, it seemed Facebook’s friends in the market were getting cold feet.
By early trading yesterday, its share price had dropped as low as £20.88 – shrinking Mr Zuckerberg’s personal fortune by around £1.3billion.
Facebook’s debut was beset by technical problems, which prevented some traders knowing for hours whether deals had been completed. Nasdaq has since announced it will change its flotation procedures.
Facebook’s lead underwriter, Morgan Stanley, had to step in and defend the offering price on the open market by buying up extra stock.
Without that same level of defence yesterday, Facebook’s shares fell £2.84 to £21.34 in the first hour and a half of trading.
That represented a decline of 11.8 per cent from Friday’s close and 25 per cent from the high achieved on the opening day.
The falling stock prompted a long list of questions, ranging from whether the underwriters priced the shares too high to how well prepared the Nasdaq was to handle the biggest internet flotation ever.
'At the moment it’s not living up to the hype,’ said Frank Lesh, a futures analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago.
'Look at the valuation on it. It might have said “buy” to a few people, but boy it was awfully rich.’
JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade’s chief derivatives strategist, blamed ‘emotional trading’ for the slump.
'Over the weekend much of the media coverage was negative, and that could be weighing on investors’ decisions to get out of the stock,’ he said.
But Martin Pyykkonen, an analyst with Colorado-based Wedge Partners, said: ‘If you went out and spent on Friday, you’re not cancelling the order for the Lamborghini just yet.
'For the most part, those with a substantial stake still have plenty of value.’
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