Morgan Stanley Reiterates Overweight Rating for Facebook (FB)
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)‘s stock had its “overweight” rating restated by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley in a research report issued on Monday, AnalystRatings.NET reports. They currently have a $62.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $53.00. Morgan Stanley’s price objective points to a potential upside of 13.64% from the stock’s previous close.
The analysts wrote, “Facebook appears able to maintain a clear lead in socially enabled internet, with Twitter achieving only 30% of Facebook’s WW MAUs by 2020E,” the report said. “Instagram advertising may be a $1b incremental opportunity by 2020 if its user base grows at the same rate as Facebook’s core user base.” The report further asserted that it sees the potential for upside if Instagram grows more quickly and it’s 3%-5% above consensus revenue and earnings forecasts. According to the Instagram blog, users will be shown ads from businesses that are relevant to their activity on Facebook and Instagram (using contextual information such as friends, like and interests.) “To arrive at our estimates, we apply an exclusivity premium on mobile eCPMs to capture higher demand and lower Instagram ad load, although we expect eCPMs to converge to a rate comparable to the Facebook mobile news feed over time,” the report said. “In our view, lower barriers to entry, smaller network effects, and rivalry with other mobile photo sharing services, such as Snapchat, may keep Instagram’s ad load suppressed as we expect Facebook to remain focused on preserving the Instagram experience for users.”
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Bank of America Corp. raised their price target on shares of Facebook from $60.00 to $64.00 in a research note to investors on Friday. Separately, analysts at TheStreet reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Facebook in a research note to investors on Thursday, December 26th. Finally, analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Facebook in a research note to investors on Monday, December 23rd. They now have a $65.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $63.00. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirty-six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Facebook presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $59.66.
Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) traded down 0.14% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $54.4789. The stock had a trading volume of 8,929,525 shares. Facebook has a 1-year low of $22.67 and a 1-year high of $58.58. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $50.84 and its 200-day moving average is $42.61. The company has a market cap of $133.7 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 139.53.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The company reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.19 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $2.02 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.91 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.12 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 59.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Facebook will post $0.83 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other Facebook news, CTO Michael Todd Schroepfer sold 25,000 shares of Facebook stock on the open market in a transaction dated Monday, December 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.90, for a total value of $1,372,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief technology officer now directly owns 367,918 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $20,198,698. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.
Facebook, Inc (NASDAQ:FB), is engaged in building products to create utility for users, developers, and advertisers.
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