Deutsche Bank top analyst Ross Sandler explores the favorable odds for two internet giants, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), previewing success for both companies ahead of their third-quarter prints. Let’s glimpse further:
Facebook is expected to report earnings on November 2nd. Ahead of the quarterly print, Sandler likes the risk/reward odds for the social media titan and therefore reiterates a Buy rating on the stock, with a $170 price target, which represents a 32% increase from where the stock is currently trading.
Based on Sandler’s ad checks, FB’s position is “largely positive heading into 3Q, but we caution that the typical ‘needs to beat consensus by $250m’ trend may be a tad tougher based on 3Q digital ad industry seasonality, but still see modest upside to our $6.8B ad revenue estimate.” The analyst believes the titan “has plenty of wiggle room” in terms of boosting ad load on Instagram to levels nearer to core.
“FB should report slight upside to our 3Q revenue and EPS estimates. Sentiment has soured somewhat owing to ad load commentary and the tougher 4Q comp. Our checks have been upbeat, including on ad load not having any near term ceiling. As expected, FB’s multiple has compressed similar to GOOG’s at a similar age, but unlike its predecessor, FB’s ad revenue has yet to decelerate. We think this sets shares up for a nice trade into 2017. A bigger move up for FB may be on hold until we see leading indicators that Messenger/WhatsApp are on a defined path towards revenue,” Sandler concludes.
As usual, we like to include the analyst’s track record when reporting on new analyst notes to give a perspective on the effect it has on stock performance. According to TipRanks, top five-star analyst Ross Sandler has achieved a high ranking of #73 out of 4,184 analysts. Sandler upholds a 69% success rate and realizes 11.7% in his annual returns. When recommending FB, Sandler yields 36.7% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks analytics demonstrate FB as a Strong Buy. Based on 36 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 31 rate a Buy on FB, while 5 maintain a Hold. The 12-month price target stands at $156.60, marking a nearly 22% upside from where the shares last closed.
Amazon is set to deliver its third-quarter print on October 27th. Sandler believes there is a “decent likelihood of upward estimate revision this print” and therefore he continues to like AMZN shares here.
As such, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on AMZN with a price target of $985, which represents just under a 19% increase from where the shares last closed.
Ahead of the results, Sandler anticipates a “slight upside” to his $3.2 billion revenue estimate for Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the company’s third-quarter with consolidated segment operating income (CSOI) at $1 billion, expecting this to be a reflection of front-loading costs of the company’s second half of the year.
The analyst’s favorite metric is measuring gross profit (GP) foreign exchange (ex-fx), which he expects will be comparable to last quarter’s 33% “on back of a massive Prime Day and the overall flywheel for $8.6 B.” From Sandler’s assessment, AMZN is in a potential set-up to yield CSOI of over $3 billion come fourth quarter. Sandler finds his GAAP EPS projections for AMZN’s respective third and fourth quarters to “prove conservative” at $0.93 and $2.75.
Though Sandler spots two main risks that might unravel AMZN’s surging momentum, from AWS underperforming the Street on revenue, a deterrent Sandler finds unlikely near-term based on his checks, or a sudden regressed cycle of declining retail CSOI margins, he contends, “Barring these two risks, AMZN shares should continue to grind higher given its reasonable valuation and incredible fundamentals.”
Sandler underscores his key takeaway on the online streaming giant, surmising, “Amazon sentiment is back to near-euphoric levels, but unlike the last time we witnessed this in late 2015, the next two quarters should see solid revenue and meaningful upside to operating profit. Based on our extensive cloud checks, AWS remains the key catalyst for upside to the story. Further, the moat around retail expands every quarter from taking over more of the value chain in logistics.”
TipRanks analytics indicate AMZN as a Strong Buy. Based on 35 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 34 rate a Buy on AMZN, while 1 maintains a Hold. The consensus price target stands at $920.00, marking a nearly 11% upside from where the stock is currently trading.