Mark Zuckerberg bullish on Facebook stock

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, acknowledging concerns about his company's stock performance, said Tuesday that Facebook has survived troubles before.

He spoke at a tech conference in San Francisco in his first interview since the company's rocky initial public offering in May. Facebook Inc.'s stock has lost half its value since the IPO.

Zuckerberg said the drop "has obviously been disappointing," but he said it's a great time to "double down" on the company's future.

"Facebook has not been an uncontroversial company," Zuckerberg said. "It's not like this is the first up and down we have ever had."

Among other things, Facebook Inc. has repeatedly faced criticism and user rebellion over its policies and practices affecting data privacy.

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Wearing a gray T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, Zuckerberg appeared in a half-hour "fireside chat" at the San Francisco Disrupt conference organized by technology blog TechCrunch.

After he began speaking, Facebook's stock increased 74 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $20.17 in after-hours trading. The IPO was priced at $38.

Investors have been concerned about Facebook's ability to keep growing revenue, especially as more people use it from mobile devices, where there is less room to show ads.

Zuckerberg said it was "really easy for folks to underestimate how really fundamentally good mobile is for us."

In a recent regulatory filing, Facebook said Zuckerberg does not plan to sell any shares in the company for at least the next 12 months. -- AP

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