Who could slow down Mark Zuckerberg’s costly pivot plan Metaplatforms (META) in the metaverse? He’s going to have to be one of the investors with the biggest losses.
Only 10 meta-investors, other than Mark Zuckerberg, including many ETF giants like Vanguard and black rock (BLK), own the largest slice of the company formerly known as Facebook, according to an Investor’s Business Daily analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence and MarketSmith. As a group, they own a third of the company, even surpassing Zuckerberg’s No. 1 position at 13%.
And those investors have the most to lose from the company’s decision a year ago to switch from lucrative social media to nauseating virtual reality. They have seen over $211 billion in market value in their own current positions disappear this year. They lost even more than Zuckerberg, who lost $85 billion.
“Meta, which was already struggling to adapt to changes to Apple’s mobile ad tracking policies, saw its ad revenue drop approximately 4% year-over-year in the third quarter. September,” says a report from S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Meta is pivoting its primary focus from social media to the future metaverse, which is also not appealing to investors.”
The meta debacle
Meta investors are paying a high price for the company’s decision to reorient its business about a year ago.
This year alone, shares of Meta are down more than 73% to 89.48. This reduced the company’s market value by more than $650 billion. Meta’s loss in market value is greater than what 99% of S&P 500 companies are worth individually. It also makes Meta the worst performing stock in the S&P 500 this year.
And if you own mutual funds and ETFs, you also own a large portion of the loss bag. Meta alone holds a 17% position in the SPDR of the communication services sector (XLC), a 12% stake in Vanguard Communication Services ETF (VOX) and a 10% position in iShares Global Communication Services ETF (IXP).
But will these ETF giants talk?
Who holds the Meta Bag?
Meta is somewhat unusual among S&P 500 companies in that founder Zuckerberg is still a top shareholder with 347.8 million shares. But the ETF giants as a group own even more than he does.
Vanguard is the second largest holder of the stock with 180.4 million shares. This represents more than 6.8% of the company. And because of that huge position size, Vanguard has lost over $44 billion on the stock this year.
Another ETF giant, BlackRock, is the third-largest holder of Meta shares with 152 million shares valued at 5.7% of the company. BlackRock has lost more than $37 billion this year on the stock. The top 5 holders are complemented by other ETF and mutual fund players, such as Capital Research, the parent company of American Funds, with a 4.5% position and Fidelity FMR at 4.2%.
Several co-founders also remain in the top 10 such as Eduardo Saverin with his 2% position and Dustin Moskovitz with just under 1%. But it will be up to the big fund companies to speak. Activist investors, so far, own only a tiny fraction of the company. New York State Common Retirement Fund holds only 0.18% and DE Shaw 0.13%
The question now is, will any activists be attracted to Meta’s suddenly lower price?
Meta’s Biggest Losers
Top Meta Platforms Stock Holders and Their Paper Losses This Year So Far
|Incumbent||Value lost this year (billions of dollars)||% held on outstanding shares|
|Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (Founder, President and CEO)||$85.9||13.1%|
|Research and capital management||29.8||4.6|
|State Street Global Advisors||22.2||3.4|
|Eduardo Saverin (co-founder)||13.2||2.0|
|T. Rowe Prize Group||12.7||1.9|
|Geode Capital Management||10.5||1.6|
|Norges Bank Investment Management||6.9||1.1|
|Dustin Moskovitz (co-founder)||6.4||1.0|
Sources: S&P Global Market Intelligence, IBD
Follow Matt Krantz on Twitter @mattkrantz
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