Oppenheimer’s Jason Helfstein Sets Expectations On Facebook Ahead Of 4Q14 Results

In a research report sent to investors, Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein maintained an Outperform rating on Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and raised his price target to $100 (from $88), on the back of increased Instagram valuation from higher member estimates and lower tax assumptions.

Helfstein observed, “We expect strong 4Q results, driven by better engagement and strong monetization. Consistent with recent qtrs, the company will likely beat its expense guidance resulting in higher margins, in our view. Checks suggest 4Q pricing +14% q/q and +21% y/y, with same-client spending +32% q/q and 33% y/y. This excludes video or Instagram. Organic reach is becoming more difficult, due to competition for newsfeed impressions, which is driving pricing. Right-rail ads now just two slots per page. Yearto-date 4Q US minutes increased 34% y/y, compared to +35% in 2Q and above our prior +31% estimate. We also see upside from increased video adoption.”

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 17.0% and a 56.3% success rate. Helfstein has a 48.7% average return when recommending FB, and is ranked #172 out of 3425 analysts.

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