Short sellers up $2B betting against Facebook parent Meta

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Short sellers in Facebook parent Meta were poised to increase their potential 2022 gains to more than $2 billion with the stock’s plunge on Thursday after the Facebook owner’s weak forecast.

With the stock down 22.3% to $247.75 in pre-market trading on Thursday, short sellers were up $1.72 billion in mark-to-market profits, according to financial and analytics firm S3 Partners. That increased such short-seller profits to $2.14 billion for 2022, according to S3.

As trading officially opened on Thursday, shares of the owner of Facebook and Instagram dropped even more steeply, down 26% to $239.50 by early afternoon, likely increasing those potential profits for short sellers.

The social media company gave a weaker-than-expected forecast, blaming Apple’s privacy changes and increased competition for users from rivals like TikTok.

Facebook short interest stood at $7.76 billion, or just over 1% of the company’s floated shares, according to S3.

In this photo illustration, the Meta logo is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of a Facebook logo
Facebook short interest stood at $7.76 billion, or just over 1% of the company’s floated shares, according to S3.
Getty Images

Short sellers, who bet on a stock’s decline, had been up $426 million in mark-to-market profits as of Wednesday’s close.

For the year, Meta Platforms shares are now down over 26%. In 2021, as the company’s shares rose 23%, shorts were down $2.06 billion in mark-to-market losses, according to S3.

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