Zuckerberg’s Disrupt Talk Pushes Facebook Stock Up 8.9% To High of $21.16

Facebook stock rose 8.9% to a high of $21.16 per share today, the first day of trading after CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s first public interview since the company’s IPO. The stock rose in after-hours trading immediately following Zuckerberg’s fireside chat at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco yesterday, and then jumped again when the market opened today.

The new high today is the highest the stock has traded at in almost a month. The stock closed at $20.91, still a 7.62% increase over yesterday’s close of $19.43.

In his talk with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington yesterday, Zuckerberg shared details on Facebook’s mobile strategy, a major question mark for investors.

He explained that Facebook acknowledged it had misjudged HTML5 and refocused on its own apps. The social network saw users’ consumption of news feed stories double following the launch of its new iOS app. That’s a simple but astounding statistic. Double the content consumed. Double the advertising opportunity.

While the stock price surge is nice for Facebook and Zuckerberg, it only really matters if it signals a long-term shift in investors’ perception of Zuckerberg as CEO. If the stock drops again in a few days, then this was just another rise and fall in the long, downward trajectory of a volatile stock.

However, if Zuckerberg’s widely acclaimed talk convinced shareholders of his strength not just as a founder and entrepreneur but as a professional, mature CEO, then we could be seeing the beginning of a longer, potentially more steady rise for the stock.

Apple announced today that it has integrated Facebook into iOS 6, a long expected move, which also could have contributed to the increase in stock price.