Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) each released stellar third-quarter earnings on November 2nd. Top analyst Mark Mahaney at RBC Capital is chiming in with confidence on the futures of these leaders of the tech-verse.
Though FB management alarmed investors with talk of waning growth for ad revenue and 2017 needing to be an industrious year in terms of investments, Mahaney still wedges all bets on the company’s prosperous long-term. In turn, what the analyst appreciates about BABA’s quarterly print showcasing beat after beat is the company’s surge in revenue growth.
Mark Mahaney has a very good TipRanks score with a 67% success rate and he stands at #3 out of 4,164 analysts. Mahaney realizes 19.0% in his annual returns. When recommending FB, Mahaney garners 37.5% in average profits on the stock. When suggesting BABA, Mahaney earns 9.2%. Let’s dive in:
Facebook shares fell 7% yesterday despite what Mahaney deems “very strong” third-quarter results, yielding both a revenue and EPS beat. So, where lies the issue for concern?
Investors ultimately got spooked with comments from management indicating Ad Revenue growth is about to “meaningfully” hit a slow-down come 2017 and as such, 2017 is set to be “aggressive” in terms of investments.
Yet, Mahaney believes the negative investor sentiment is an overreaction and undauntedly reiterates an Outperform rating on shares of FB with a $170 price target, which represents just under a 42% increase from current levels.
For the quarter, FB brought in a 56% year-over-year surge in revenue of $7.00 billion, outclassing the Street’s $6.93 billion. Ad revenue increased 59% year-over-year and hit $6.82 billion on back of 50% year-over-year expansion in Ad Impressions and a 6% rise in Ad Pricing. Furthermore, 53% Adjusted EBITDA Margin “matched a record FB high.”
The analyst explains, “Even tho Ad Revenue growth ‘dramatically’ decelerated from 63% to 59% Y/Y (on a tougher comp), fundamentals remain the strongest across the ‘Net sector. We think aftermarket reaction to ’17 outlook commentary overdone.”
In fact, Mahaney notes, “FB is benefitting from a surge in Advertiser Demand, driven by new ad formats (e.g. Video, Canvas), improved targeting and campaign management tools, and increasing evidence that FB ad campaigns generate high ROIs (per our survey work). On the bottom line, the Adjusted EBITDA and EPS beats demonstrate the substantial leverage in this biz model.”
To the analyst, the corporate update does not come as a surprise, and he views the news as “very consistent” considering past commentary from management. Meanwhile, consensus projects 20 points of Ad Revenue deceleration come 2017, which Mahaney considers as “actually overly ‘meaningful.'”
Mahaney remains unconcerned and highlights “several new large revenue growth drivers” from monetizing Instagram and Facebook Messaging as well as creative video advertising. Regarding the long-term, at the social media giant’s “current low market shares,” the analyst anticipates sustained premium growth.
Overall, “FB = Top 3 ‘Net Long recommendation for us,” concludes Mahaney.
TipRanks analytics exhibit FB as a Strong Buy. Out of 33 analysts polled by TipRanks, 31 are bullish on Facebook stock, while 2 remain sidelined. With a return potential of 33%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $159.79.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd
Alibaba released “solid” quarterly earnings that indicate the company continues to “demonstrate impressive growth,” as Mahaney sees it. A strong third-quarter print coupled with savvy long-term strategy have the analyst remaining positive, reiterating an Outperform rating on BABA while raising the price target from $110 to $120, which represents a nearly 23% increase from where the shares last closed.
The Chinese online retail giant posted beats “across the board” with revenue of 34.3 billion RMB, denoting a 55% rise in year-over-year, outperforming the Street’s projection of 33.9 billion. BABA garnered EBITDA of 15.9 billion RMB, topping consensus of 15.0 billion. Additionally, non-GAAP EPS of 5.26 RMB climbed above the Street’s expectation of 4.65 RMB.
To Mahaney, the most crucial aspect of the print is BABA’s robust revenue growth, which he attributes partially to “growth in online marketing, as average merchant spending continues to increase.” In reaction, the analyst has adjusted his forecasts, with 2017 revenue expected to hit 219 billion RMB and 2017 EBITDA trimmed 4% to 107 billion RMB, and is “rolling forward” valuation framework.
“Fundamental trends remain extremely robust and driven by continued Mobile traction, which we believe will help sustain premium growth rates in the Core China Commerce segment, particularly as more brands/merchants advertise on BABA and average merchant spending increases. BABA also continues to demonstrate high levels of profitability […] China Macro is a concern, but we believe Internet Secular trends can offset much of this. We view BABA as a PremiumGrowth/Premium-Profit Asset, at a reasonable valuation. We also view this as a very effective management team with a sound l-t strategy. Finally, we see BABA as having significant option value from non-retail/platform revenue streams in China, possibly International expansion & a series of major strategic investments,” Mahaney contends.
TipRanks analytics demonstrate BABA as a Strong Buy. Based on 22 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 21 rate a Buy on BABA, while 1 maintains a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $119.10, marking a nearly 22% upside from where the stock is currently trading.