Published On: Mon, Jul 28th, 2014

As Facebook Becomes ‘Must Buy’ Stock, Zuckerberg’s Wealth Second Only to Gates’

Zuckerberg+Gates Time covers

Mark Zuckerberg has now surpassed Google’s Sergey Brinn and Larry Page of Google in terms of wealth, and may someday nip even at the heels of  Bill Gates.

Facebook founder and CEO Zuckerberg added $1.6 billion to his fortune as Facebook recently closed at record highs. His net worth is now $33 billion, moving past the Google founders on Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. Zuckerberg takes the 16th position with Brinn and Page at 17th and 18th.

“He’s just getting started, ” David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect. “He’s going to become the richest person on the planet.”

Having floundered a few years ago, after its infamous initial public offering, and apparently flummoxed over a strategy for mobile, Facebook now, in the words of CNBC’s Jim Cramer, is the “King of Mobile” and is a must-own stock.

There was chatter about the younger generation fleeing Facebook to get away from their parents who use the social network, but the numbers don’t lie.

In its recent earnings, Facebook management reported that its sales rose 61%, trouncing analysts’ estimates, and it might be taking Google’s place in internet ad dominance. The stock has gained 183% in the last year, the largest gain in the S&P 500. While Facebook’s valuation at 82 times earnings may sound a bit rich, but its 62% growth in mobile ads makes up for the hefty stock price tag.

Sheryl Sandberg, author of Leaning In has become one of the wealthiest female billionaires at the age of 44 and owns 9.9 million shares valued at $740 million. While Bill Gates is still the wealthiest person with a value of $84.7 billion, Facebook’s fortunes might still be in the early innings, while Microsoft seems a bit old-fashioned.


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