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Facebook stock hits new low

Facebook's stock hit a new low on Friday after it reported second-quarter results that disappointed investors.

The stock was down $3.58, or 13 per cent, to $23.26 as trading opened today. Facebook's initial public offering of stock was priced at $38, and its previous low had been $25.52.

In its first financial report as a public company, Facebook said yesterday that revenue grew 32 per cent to $1.18 billion in the second quarter.

Growth has slowed from earlier this year and from previous years - a concern for a newly public company.

Investors are willing to value new companies highly, even if they are not making a profit, because they expect booming revenue.

Baird's Colin Sebastian pointed out that the company is spending more on technology and hiring, driving up expenses. But he said advertising revenue was better than expected and the company is improving its ability to make money from users who access Facebook from apps on their phones and tablet computers.

Mobile and users in developing countries are driving growth in active monthly users, said Sebastian. Facebook had 955 million active monthly users as of June 30, up 29 per cent from a year ago.

"We don't view these results as dramatically good or bad," said Citi analyst Mark Mahaney. "Key questions remain: the future of Facebook mobile monetisation and the future of Facebook user engagement."

Analysts also cautioned that the stock could be volatile because Facebook did not provide guidance for the rest of the year.

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