Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The brokerage presently has a $189.00 price objective on the social networking company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 13.86% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “We believe that Facebook will continue with the good show going ahead as it has ample growth catalysts. Apart from mobile and video, the monetization of its subsidiaries, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus, a huge user base and higher engagement levels will boost its financials, going ahead. The company is also dabbling in augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which also bodes well for growth. In the last one year, Facebook has vastly outperformed the broader market. Estimates have remained stable ahead of the Q2 earnings release. However, despite strong results, Facebook continues to maintain a cautious stance on future growth prospects. The company has stated that revenues will now face tougher year-over-year comparisons. Also, we believe stiffening competition for ad dollars is concerning. “

FB has been the subject of several other research reports. Canaccord Genuity restated a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 target price on shares of Facebook in a research report on Friday, June 16th. Vetr downgraded Facebook from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $156.06 target price for the company. in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $180.00 target price on Facebook and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. Wedbush set a $185.00 target price on Facebook and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. Finally, Instinet restated a “buy” rating and set a $165.00 target price on shares of Facebook in a research report on Saturday, April 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, forty-one have assigned a buy rating and five have assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $168.31.

Facebook (NASDAQ FB) traded up 0.95% during trading on Monday, reaching $166.00. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 17,366,971 shares. Facebook has a 52-week low of $113.55 and a 52-week high of $166.17. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $154.52 and its 200 day moving average is $143.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $481.10 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 42.21 and a beta of 0.67.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The social networking company reported $1.04 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.16. Facebook had a return on equity of 20.27% and a net margin of 36.45%. The company had revenue of $8.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.83 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.77 EPS. Facebook’s revenue for the quarter was up 49.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Facebook will post $4.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Christopher K. Cox sold 16,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $150.05, for a total transaction of $2,400,800.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 165,431 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $24,822,921.55. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Jan Koum sold 3,600,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.06, for a total value of $576,216,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 13,360,716 shares of company stock worth $2,083,002,199 in the last three months. 19.08% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FB. Vantis Investment Advisers L.P. acquired a new stake in Facebook during the fourth quarter valued at $20,664,000. InterOcean Capital LLC boosted its stake in Facebook by 97.6% in the fourth quarter. InterOcean Capital LLC now owns 3,948 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $454,000 after buying an additional 1,950 shares during the last quarter. Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc. acquired a new stake in Facebook during the fourth quarter valued at $532,000. Cpcm LLC acquired a new stake in Facebook during the fourth quarter valued at $5,370,000. Finally, Ally Financial Inc. acquired a new stake in Facebook during the fourth quarter valued at $6,903,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 57.68% of the company’s stock.

Facebook Company Profile

Facebook, Inc is focused on building products that enable people to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers and other surfaces. The Company’s products include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus. Facebook enables people to connect, share, discover and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers.

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Analyst Recommendations for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)

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