Facebook Inc Poised to Beat 1Q Estimates: Oppenheimer

In a research report published today, Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein reiterated an Outperform rating on Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) with a price target of $100, ahead of the company’s first-quarter results, which is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22. Facebook shares are currently trading at $82.13, up $1.35 or 1.68 percent.

Helfstein noted, “We expect strong 1Q results, driven by higher mobile engagement and strong monetization. Checks suggest better 1Q sequential trends in social spend vs. the prior year, as improved targeting offsets traditional seasonality. Advertisers up 2x+ y/y (Feb. ’14 vs. Apr. ’14), and share of US mobile Internet +150 bps y/y. 1Q US minutes +30% y/y, vs. +32% in 4Q, modestly above our prior 29% estimate.”

Furthermore, “We now forecast currency hurting 1Q/2Q revs by 7%/9% vs. 5% previously. Street ests appear conservative for expense growth, as 4Q:14 headcount increased “only” 45% vs. 55% est. in 1Q. Deeper ad-tech stack, Facebook Audience Network (FAN) and video could provide upside to estimates. Maintain Outperform and $100 price target.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Jason Helfstein has a total average return of 8.0% and a 57.2% success rate. Helfstein has an 43.2% average return when recommending FB, and is ranked #428 out of 3573 analysts.

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