Latest Facebook funk: Stock lands just above $18 a share

If you thought it couldn't get worse, think again. Lackluster revenue forecasts send Facebook shares tumbling, and analysts say there's little light at the end of this tunnel.

Sarah Tew

And the hits just keep coming for the world's most popular social network.

As the rest of the U.S. settled in for the long Labor Day weekend, Facebook investors decided it was a good time to dump some shares before Wall Street traders return to work next week to take a closer look at the stock that just can't stop declining.

Facebook shares closed at $18.08 a share, a 5.3 percent drop from the day's opening.

Throughout the day, the stock hovered ever so close to the $18 mark, a figure that would price shares at less than half their IPO price of $38.

The latest catalyst came today when BMO Capital Markets reduced its price target by to $15 from $25.

"We expected investor attention to return to fundamentals after the technical challenges presented by lockup expirations over the next six months have been absorbed by the stock," BMO's Daniel Salmon said in a note. More than 240 million shares now held by early investors will become available for trading this fall. And on November 4, more than 1.2 billion shares held by employees will also become eligible for sale.

The continuing downward spiral is linked to lackluster revenue forecasts. Analysts knocked a billion dollars off Facebook's estimated 2012 revenue just yesterday, citing poor ad revenues. Advertising has been a major thorn in Facebook's side as it tries to figure out how to make money off ads -- particularly on the mobile platform -- without sacrificing user experience.

 

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