The Top 10 Best Analyst Coverage On Facebook Inc


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is slated to release fiscal 2015 second-quarter earnings on July 29 after market close. This fast-growing tech giant remains the face of social media, and on July 21 touched its all-time high share price of $99.24 after Merrill Lynch added the stock to its list of top investment ideas, US list 1. Wall Street anticipates earnings per share of $0.47 on revenue of $3.98 billion, compared with per-share earnings of $0.42 and revenue of $2.91 billion in the same period a year ago. Facebook has been skyrocketing since July 2013, increasing over 288% in stock value. Analysts believe the social media giant isn’t slowing down any time soon and continue to recommend the stock while moving price targets higher. Here are the top 10 analysts who have covered Facebook over the successful year:

1. Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital last rated Facebook on June 17, stating, “FB’s fundamentals remain among the strongest in the sector.” The analyst reiterated a Buy rating with a $105 price target, citing that current valuation on Facebook is very attractive on a growth basis. Mahaney argues that the company can see an additional $5 billion in revenue in the next five years coming from auto-play video ads. The analyst comments that there is an “enormous appetite in the market” for auto-play video ads and “Facebook has gotten more and more video impressions, inventory.” Mahaney concludes, “There is a natural win here, we think, for the advertiser and for Facebook.”

Mark Mahaney has rated Facebook 21 times since 2009, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock and a +54.5% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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2. Axiom analyst Victor Anthony last rated Facebook on June 17, reiterating a Buy rating with a $105 price target. The analyst made his recommendation after Facebook’s management team announced an expansion of advertisements on Instagram. Anthony expects “Instagram to generate almost $1 billion in revenues in 2017, while also mentioning that this estimate could prove conservative.”

Victor Anthony has rated Facebook a total of 34 times since June 2012, earning a 94% success rate recommending the stock and a +54.4% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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3. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali last rated Facebook on July 27, reiterating a Buy rating while raising his price target to $100 from $92. The analyst reiterates his long thesis to reflect “the growing shift of ad dollars online, mobile usage and Facebook’s fresh suite of mobile-first ad offerings.” He continues that Facebook remains his top pick “given 1) its position as the largest/most engaging mass-reach Internet platform for advertisers, offering personalized marketing at scale, 2) its attractive valuation, and 3) its ownership of Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus, each with compelling prospects.”

Furthermore, Squali expects Facebook to report strong second quarter results, “showing that user growth and engagement on the platform continue unabated.” He states, “Revenue growth and margin, at 37% Y/T and 64%, respectively, should be among the highest within the Internet group.”

Youssef Squali has rated Facebook a total of 29 times since 2012, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock and a +53.2% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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4. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster last weighed in Facebook on July 7, reiterating a Buy rating and price target of $120. The analyst reiterates his long thesis in light of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality products. In his research report, Munster reports, “In addition to Oculus’ upcoming Rift VR headset (early 2016), the company also has a content production team called Story Studio, which is dedicated to creating compelling content for the VR medium.” Munster believes that gaming will be the early compelling experience in Virtual Reality, but over time “movie/TV style immersive content will ultimately be a bigger part of the experience.” He concludes, “In conjunction with our expectation for 500 million VR headsets to be sold in 2025, we also expect VR movies to generate $610 million in revenue the same year.”

Gene Munster has rated Facebook a total of 23 times since 2012, earning a 96% success rate recommending the stock and a +46.2% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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5. Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post last rated Facebook on July 21. The analyst reiterated a Buy rating while raising his price target to $100 from $90 “on incremental confidence.” The analyst added shares of Facebook to the “US 1 high-conviction list,” which represents a “collection of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s top investment ideas.”

Post wrote, “We see Facebook as the best positioned Internet media company to capitalize on media sector trends as we expect the company to take disproportionate share of ad industry spend as Facebook remains a top beneficiary of mobile Internet adoption.” The analyst concludes, “Heading into earnings, we expect near-term growth to be driven by further improvements in News Feed targeting and relevancy, driving higher click through rates (CTR) and conversion, and ultimately yielding higher prices.”

Justin Post has rated Facebook a total of 15 times since 2012, earning a 92% success rate recommending the stock and a +45.4% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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6. Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein last weighed in on Facebook on July 21. The analyst reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $100 price target, citing that he foresees a strong second-quarter for Facebook. The analyst sees the strong results being driven by higher mobile engagement, strong monetization, and the continued rollout of video ads. Furthermore, “Deeper ad-tech stack, Facebook Audience Network (FAN) and video could provide upside to estimates.” Helfstein concludes, “new click definition for CPC’s, video ads priced after 10 seconds, and rollout of Instagram platform to all advertisers could be meaningful drivers for 2H:15.”

Jason Helfstein has rated Facebook a total of 23 times since 2012, earning an 87% success rate recommending the stock and a +43.4% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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7. Pivotal Research analyst Brian Weiser last rated Facebook on July 13, expressing bullish sentiments. Weiser is bullish on Facebook and the direction its advertising platform is heading, and reiterated a Buy rating on the stock while lowering his price target to $105 from $107. The analyst comments, “We have incorporated raised expectations for the company given ongoing traction with various segments of advertisers that should help Facebook [capture] a growing share of digital advertising budgets.”

Brian Weiser has rated Facebook a total of 17 times since 2013, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock and a +40.7% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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8. Needham analyst Laura Martin last rated Facebook on July 8, ahead of second quarter earnings. Martin reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with $93 price target, maintaining, “revenue estimates of $4B, and Non-GAAP EPS estimate of $0.39.” Martin also notes “FB’s 1.44B person global reach and optionality upside provided by their 4 key properties, each of which has premium shelf-space status on the first two screens of most SmartPhones, and 3 of which have no meaningful monetization today.”

Lauren Martin has rated Facebook a total of 17 times since May 2012, earning a 82% success rate recommending the stock and a +40.1% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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9. Robert Peck of SunTrust last rated Facebook on June 11, reiterating a Buy rating on the stock and a price target of $100. The analyst based his recommendation on Facebook’s new Buy Button, which he believes can add between 5% and 10% to incremental revenue. He states, “We think this new buy button could not only expand the activity of current retail/ecommerce advertisers but also open a new segment of advertisers that are more ‘direct response’ e-commerce companies.” He continues, “If we assume the Buy Button ads can achieve a ~30% lift in “effective CPMs” and that 10-30% all impressions are ecommerce related, then we think that Facebook could see an incremental lift to revenues of 5-10%.”

Robert Peck has rated Facebook a total of 20 times since 2013, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock and a +39% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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10. Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Graham last rated Facebook on June 10, reiterating a Buy rating with $90 price target. Graham believes “Facebook’s fundamental outlook remains positive, underpinned by multiple revenue drivers that span both the near and long term. While the company’s ~$230B of market value makes the idea of the stock doubling anytime soon somewhat challenging, we find the valuation reasonable, especially when set against the robust growth outlook.”

Michael Graham has rated Facebook a total of 10 times since 2013, earning a 100% success rate recommending the stock and a +31.3% average return per Facebook recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark.

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Out of 22 analysts polled by TipRanks, 21 analysts are bullish on Facebook and 1 is bearish. The average 12-month price target for Facebook is $104.10, marking a 10.25% potential upside from where the stock last closed. On average, the all-analyst consensus for Facebook is Strong Buy.