Facebook Inc reported its first quarter-to-quarter revenue slide in at least two years, a sign that the social network's sizzling growth may be cooling as it prepares to go public in the biggest ever Internet IPO.
IPO（Initial Public Offering）：首次公开上市；企业首次公开发行股票
The company blamed the first-quarter decline, which surprised some on Wall Street, on seasonal advertising trends.
"No matter how you slice it, for a company that is perceived as growing so rapidly, to slow so much on whatever basis - sequentially or annually - it will be somewhat concerning to investors if faced with a lofty valuation
," Wieser said.
Facebook is preparing to raise at least $5 billion in an initial public offering that could value the world's largest social network at up to $100 billion.
"The biggest issue is the realization that Facebook is not going to have an easy time meeting high expectations of the public market," said Jeff Sica, chief investment officer of SICA Wealth Management, which manages more than $1 billion in client assets, real estate and private equity holdings. "It will affect how people look at the IPO."
Investors are still likely to sign up in droves for the IPO; However, growth concerns may make some investors less likely to keep the stock over the long term, he added.
Facebook said its advertising business, which accounts for the bulk of its revenue, typically slows down in the first three months of the year. The rapid advertising growth may have "partially masked" such trends to date, and seasonal impacts may be more pronounced in the future, it noted.
Revenue, which totaled $1.06 billion in the three months ended March 31, declined 6 percent from the fourth quarter. It was the first quarter-on-quarter drop since at least 2010.
"It was bound to happen. You are going to see a slowdown," said Anupam Palit, an analyst at GreenCrest Capital LLC, noting that it is harder to double revenue when the base is larger.
be bound to happen：必然会发生；注定会发生
But he also said Facebook has not worked out how to make more money in some international markets where it is growing the fastest, such as Brazil, India and the Philippines.
"They have not cracked international markets yet, while others like Google do very well internationally," Palit added.
Apart from slowing growth, Facebook is also grappling
with other issues. Yahoo Inc is suing it for patent infringement
even as the social networking company tries to beef up its intellectual property arsenal
. On Monday, it said it would pay $550 million for hundreds of patents from Microsoft Corp.