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Facebook Below $20? Let The Apple Bidding Begin

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- For as great a concept as social media giant Facebook (FB) is, the stock has failed to generate the support that all sound fundamental businesses enjoy. As of this writing, Facebook shares have fallen as low as $21.79, with no meaningful signs of slowing down.

The question now is, can it hold $20? If not, I think it is safe to predict that all hell might break loose. Should it lose that psychological support level, rattled investors will likely punish the stock further to $15.

However, pundits might ask, will that be so bad for a company that has been as vilified as Facebook? The better question is, why now?

I ask because while the stock immediately dropped after its recent earnings report, it was not as drastic a drop as what it now occurring almost one week later. Facebook did report what I would consider respectable numbers, including better-than-expected revenue as well as an increase in active monthly users.

However, it seems that investors are unable to stomach what appears to be slowing revenue growth, a concern I believe Google (GOOG) has had a lot to do with over the past couple of months.

Is what we are now witnessing an overreaction? Does a slight deceleration in revenue justify the punishment that Facebook is taking at this point?

I would think so, particularly when projected revenue growth was broadly understood as the reason for the high valuation in the first place. So where is the bottom for the stock?

Also, if the stock continues to drop, what is to stop acquisition talks from dominating media outlets? It goes without saying that one of the first names mentioned will be Apple (AAPL), especially after reports of "broken talks" with Twitter.

Although Apple's disinterest in a social media acquisition continues to be mentioned, there is no question that the right price would certainly spark some interest. Apple has nothing to lose, especially when Facebook reports 500 million of its users are on mobile.

Imagine what that might mean for iPhone and iPad sales. What's more, do you suppose Apple would have a problem with monetization? Not likely! From that standpoint, Apple's potential to offer immediate returns to businesses from the standpoint of targeted advertising becomes enormous.

So as Facebook's stock continues to drop, it is answering the question the bears have always wondered: What exactly is so special about social media?



At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL and held no position in any of the other stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Richard Saintvilus is a private investor with an information technology and engineering background and has been investing and trading for over 15 years. He employs conservative strategies in assessing equities and appraising value while minimizing downside risk. His decisions are based in part on management, growth prospects, return on equity and price-to-earnings as well as macroeconomic factors. He is an investor who seeks opportunities whether on the long or short side and believes in changing positions as information changes.

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