WhatsApp, Mr. Zuckerberg?

October 9, 2014

What? Zuck worry?

Mark Zuckerberg, apparently channeling the Alfred E. Neuman school of business management, told reporters in New Delhi, India, on Thursday that Facebook does not plan to monetize mobile messaging service WhatsApp any time soon.

Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp closed on Monday at a monstrous final price tag of $22 billion—up from $19 billion when the deal was struck—after EU regulators granted approval last Friday.

What gives the social networking giant the luxury of putting a $22 billion purchase on the back burner?

As this Reuters graphic shows, Facebook’s stock price has more than doubled since it’s tumultuous $38 IPO on May 18, 2012. Over the same period, the NASDAQ composite is up an impressive 60 percent, but the same surge in stock price that has pushed Zuckerberg’s net worth to over $34 billion also gives Facebook a valuation of almost $200 billion—plenty of financial cushion, and plenty of time to let its non-core properties grow.

Clearly, $200 billion can buy down a lot of anxiety.

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