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What Wall Street Wants From Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is making his first public appearance since Facebook's initial public offering at TechCrunch: Disrupt SF 2012, a conference for developers, entrepreneurs, and venture caplitalist investors in San Francisco.

Mark Zuckerberg
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mark Zuckerberg

With Facebook's stock down by half since its disastrous IPOin May, why is he speaking to the tech community instead of investors? (Read More: The Man Behind Facebook's IPO Debacle.)

For precisely that reason — this tech-heavy audience will be interested in Zuckerberg's focus on product rather than profits. We polled a number of top analysts about what they wanted to hear from Zuckerberg and there was certainly consensus: they want to hear him say he cares about the company's stock. (Read More: Zuckerberg to Come Out of 'Shell' at TechCrunch)

"At what point does Zuckerberg need to start becoming more focused on Facebook's stock price, given its impact on employee morale," Citigroup Mark Mahaney asks.

Mahaney points out that there's an "inherent conflict" between making money off its rapidly growing mobile usage, and maintaining user engagement — he'd like to hear Zuckerberg reconcile those two demands.

Stern Agee analyst says, "Above all, I would like to hear that Mark and his team do care about the stock and the investors involved in the stock."

"The perception on Wall Street is that revenue and profit growth take a back seat to user experience, and he has to reaffirm a commitment to balancing the two," says Wedbush Securities Michael Pachter.

And of course Facebook's mobile strategy remains in the spotlight — with mobile usage out pacing revenue growth, it's the company's biggest risk and opportunity.

"We want to understand why they believe the current sponsored stories approach to mobile advertising makes sense for consumers. I realize brands love it," BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield says. "But is it really a good user experience?"

COO Sheryl Sandberg oversees advertising, not Zuckerberg, so we're unlikely to hear many details about ads, but this is definitely a hot topic for Wall Street.

Oppenheimer & Co analyst Jason Helfstein is looking for data about Facebook's progress with large multinational advertisers. We're more likely to hear news about changes to the product, or the developer platform. (Read More: Facebook vs. Twitter, Who Has Edge in Mobile Ad Wars.)

No matter what Zuckerberg says, Wall Street will be listening closely, and it's likely to move Facebook's stock.

-By CNBC's Julia Boorstin
@JBoorstin

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.