Amazon shocked investors by doing an unusual thing for the venerable senior citizen of Internet high-flyers — Jeff Bezos’s company actually reported a profit last quarter. AMZN stock soared, making Bezos himself a paper gain in the neighborhood of $8 billion in a day. (It didn’t last, but…) On Wednesday when his company announces quarterly earnings, there’s a good chance Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will do even better than Bezos.
Facebook has faced down every challenge, both buying (WhatsApp, Instagram) and innovating its way into almost half the world’s communications. A year ago, it was perceived to be a weak mobile player; now Facebook is a mobile advertising giant. Facebook shares have an upside built into them — analysts are expecting good news. But what’s not built into them is the budding monopoly Facebook has, especially considering its enormous gains in video. Wednesday’s results could still disappoint the overeager, and Zuckerberg will have to wait months for his net worth to escalate another $8 billion. But it could, as happened to Bezos, rise that much or more in a single day. Bezos is said to own roughly 19 percent of Amazon, while Zuckerberg has more than 20% of Facebook.