Positives and Negatives From Facebook Inc’s (FB) Earnings Report: Deutsche Bank

Analyst Ross Sandler of Deutsche Bank maintained a Buy rating and $170 price target on shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), after the social media giant reported impressive second-quarter results that exceeded consensus on every metric, despite heading into the print with high expectations. Sandler sees both positive and negative takeaways in Facebook’s second-quarter numbers.

Sandler wrote, “Facebook beat street estimates handily on most KPIs. Ad revenue growth was +63% ex -fx, and after backing out the 2 -point benefit last quarter from leap year, accelerated 200bps. Advertiser demand was strong across verticals, marketer segments and geos – especially in US/CAN. User growth (DAU) increased at its highest pace in 3 years, with APAC (especially India) being particularly solid, driven in large part by strength in mobile. Time spent per DAU is up “double-digits” which should calm some noise about engagement. FB tightened the full year expense growth guidance down to 30 -35% from 30-40%, adding modest additional margin upside.”

However, “There were few negatives to point to in 2Q. The 2H17 ad load comment will likely weigh on sentiment and the FB multiple near term, but this has come up repeatedly in the past, and is largely already baked into consensus estimates. Ad load is a small but important piece of the ladder up to 49% impression growth, in addition to DAU (+17 points), engagement per DAU (up “double digits” call it 10%-15%), and FAN/Instagram. Hence a drop off in ad load would likely be sub-10% impact to revenue in 2H17, not that material.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Ross Sandler has a yearly average return of 8% and a 61% success rate. Sandler has an 36.1% average return when recommending FB, and is ranked #225 out of 4087 analysts.

Out of the 35 analysts polled by TipRanks, 30 rate Facebook stock a Buy, while 5 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 25%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $155.49.


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