Facebook Shares Pare Losses as AdParlor Says Data Incomplete

Updated on
  • AdParlor says data shared on analyst call was unauthorized
  • Shares had dropped as much as 3.7 percent after call

Facebook Inc. shares pared earlier losses after an advertising partner said data about the social network’s ad trends provided on a conference call were incomplete, unauthorized and given out of context.

“A junior-level AdParlor employee spoke out of turn during an analysts’ call this morning,” Paul Herdtner, director of communications at AdParlor, said in a statement. “His data was incomplete and he didn’t provide proper context. It was not an approved call, and such a briefing will not happen again.”

The data shared on the call indicated a steeper-than-expected drop in first quarter advertising growth, sending Facebook shares down in high volume. The stock dropped as much as 3.7 percent earlier Wednesday, sliding as low as $106.52.

Though there may have been a slowdown in March, Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. defended Facebook, saying trends were more stable than the AdParlor data point suggested, according to his note to investors. After AdParlor made its statement, shares pared their losses to close down less than 0.1 percent at $110.51.

“Our employee did not adequately brief the analysts on AdParlor’s internal shift away from gaming clients and toward brand advertisers,” AdParlor said. “Those game developers are obviously still buying app install ads on Facebook, they’re just not working with AdParlor to do so.”

Facebook shares have climbed more than 30 percent in the past year as gains in mobile advertising fueled sales and profit growth.

(Updates with Baird analyst statement.)
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