Wells Fargo analyst Peter Stabler was out pounding the table on shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), reiterating an Overweight, while lifting his valuation range for the stock to $155-$160 (from $145-$150), based on revised estimates. Facebook shares closed today at $124.31, up $0.37 or 0.30%.
Stabler wrote, “We view 2Q results as validation of our thesis that FB’s unmatched audience scale, engagement, targeting, ad formats, and analytics continue to engage new advertisers and grow FB platform share of existing budgets. Advertising revenue growth of 63% in the quarter compared to our 52% estimate—the 3rd consecutive quarter of 60%+ y/y F/X neutral ad growth—as FB continues to see benefit from an expanding portfolio of ad formats and contribution from Instagram and the FB audience network. Impression growth of 49% was supplemented with 9% year/year price per ad gains.”
“Instagram ad-load gains were also cited, though management noted IG remains lower on the ad-load growth curve with a higher medium-term growth opportunity. Opex management continues to be strong, with the quarter posting in particular lighter than anticipated expense on R&D line. Gross margin was also materially better than anticipated,” the analyst added.
Peter Stabler is ranked #273 of 4,085 analysts on TipRanks. He maintains a success rate of 70% with an average return of 20.1%. When rating FB, the analyst upholds a success rate of 92% and an average profit of 49.3%.
According to TipRanks, 86% of analysts issue a Buy rating for FB while the remaining 14% issue a Hold rating. The consensus target price for shares of FB is $154.86, marking a 24.95% upside from current prices.