Facebook this morning launched “Home,” a family of apps for devices running the Android operating system, at a flashy press event at its Menlo Park, California headquarters. While sentiment about the launch is still shaking out among gadget experts and other tech industry watchers, there has been a positive response from one key demographic: Public market investors.
Facebook’s stock rose steadily this morning as the Home launch event played out after starting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. Eastern Time.) At the time that the official event and the following Q&A wrapped at 11:00 a.m., Facebook’s stock price was $27.04, a solid gain from the $26.57 stock price that it began the event with an hour before. Trading volume was also markedly up during the event, which was available online via live stream. And after the event closed, Facebook’s stock continued to climb — a half an hour later at 11:30 a.m. PT, the price was hovering steadily around $27.20, and at market close the price settled at $27.06, marking a 3.13 percent gain for the day.
Of course, monitoring the stock market is tough, as it is volatile by nature — especially as investors try to suss out what a big new product launch could mean. And Facebook’s stock still has a long way to go before it can be considered a stock market success — it’s still trading well below the $38 per share price of its initial public offering back in May 2012 and the opening price of $42.05 it had at its stock market debut.
But Home has had a significantly better reception than Facebook’s also much-hyped Graph Search launch back in January, when the company’s stock fell more than 3 percent. We’ve still got a week until Home actually is available to Android users, so the jury will be out on Home’s real success for a while, but as far as Wall Street is concerned this seems to be a good first impression.