Analysts Pound the Table on Facebook Inc (FB) and Walt Disney Co (DIS)

Analysts from RBC Capital and UBS gave bullish outlooks on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) following recent positive performance from both. Ahead of Facebook’s earnings, one analyst predicts an earnings win marked by Q1 successes. The other analyst credits Disney’s positive film and theme park performance for his rosy outlook.

Facebook Inc

Top Analyst Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital provides an earnings preview for Facebook, who is set to release Q1:16 earnings on April 27 after market close. The analyst is expecting revenues of $5.43 billion and earnings of $0.68 per share, marking 53% and 61% y/y growth, respectively.

Mahaney highlights the most important events of the quarter for the company. First, comScore U.S. multi-platform traffic trends decreased 7 points to 0% Y/Y growth, though total minutes per unique visitor increased 13% y/y. The company also focused on enhancing user experience through new products and features. Mahaney explains, “Facebook has improved the user experiences of many of its platforms, including Instagram curation, Live Video expansion, Facebook Sports Stadium, and the launch of Oculus Rift.” Related, the analyst also mentions the F8 developer conference which occurred a few weeks ago, where the company provided insights and updates on new cutting-edge products and features. Finally, the analyst points to favorable results from his firm’s marketing survey of 2,000 advertising professionals which recorded their opinions of Online Advertising. He states, “The results were quite positive for Facebook, including marketers expecting to increase spend on the platform and perceived ROI improving on the platform.”

The analyst also mentions various factors he will keep an eye on during the earnings call, the first being user growth and engagement. The analyst states that the company has been able to grow its user base at a “reasonably robust pace off a very large base”, displaying 14% y/y growth last quarter. The company also displayed record high engagement metrics last quarter marked by Daily Average Users and Monthly Average Users. For this quarter, the analyst predicts 13% MAU growth to 1.63 billion and a 20 bps increase in the DAU/MAU ratio. Mahaney highlights impressive ad revenue growth last quarter of 66% and predicts a 62% growth rate for this quarter. Finally, the analyst predicts 54% non-GAAP operating margins for the quarter, marking a 250 bps y/y increase. He adds, “We note management provided non-GAAP opex guidance of 45-55% Y/Y growth in 2016 on the Q4 call, and we would expect FB to reiterate that opex growth guidance on the Q1 EPS call.”

The analyst reiterates an Outperform rating on the company with a $160 price target. He states, “Given the magnitude of the Q4 beat…we would expect the market to look for robust upside in Q1… this will be a HIGH BAR Quarter for FB.” According to TipRanks, Mark Mahaney is ranked #8 out of 3,906 analysts. He has a 63% success rate recommending stocks with an average return of 18.4% per recommendation.

Out of all the analysts who have rated the company in the past 3 months, 95% are bullish while 5% remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $137.21, marking a 25% upside from current levels.

Walt Disney Co

Analyst Douglas Mitchelson of UBS weighed in on Disney following positive performance of recently released films Zootopia and The Jungle Book, which generated a combined $1.86 billion in global box office revenues compared to his $1.1 billion estimate. As a result, the analyst increases his FY16 EPS guidance by $0.9 to $5.91, slightly above consensus estimates of $5.82, and maintains his $6.31 FY17 estimate. The company will release Q2:16 earnings on May 10.

The analyst also mentions his “conservative” global box office estimates for Captain America: Civil War of $1.05 billion, but notes the “film is tracking very well”, already grossing $1.5 billion which could result in Michelson increasing FY16 EPS by an additional $0.08. However, he remains cautious due to “uncertainty” regarding Alice In Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, set to release next month.

Regarding parks, Mitchelson points to near-term gains resulting from increased spending. The analyst believes spending per guest in the company’s U.S. parks will increase above his 5% predicted growth rate for FY16/Fy17 resulting from the new tiered pricing structure for single day tickets and robust sales of multiday and annual passes. The analyst also mentions that “awareness and intent to visit is very high” for the upcoming opening of Shanghai Disneyland in June.

Ultimately, the analyst believes “content success” and “the anticipation of the ongoing Parks buildout” trumps previous concerns regarding ESPN declines and the long-term impact it would have on the company. In fact, the analyst believes new films released in FY18/19 “should set even substantially higher new records than FY16.”

The analyst reiterates a Buy rating on the company with a $116 price target. Douglas Mitchelson has a 66% success rate recommending stocks with an average return of 14.2% per recommendation.

According to TipRanks, out of all the analysts who have rated DIS in the last 3 months, 60% gave a Buy rating while 40% remain on the sidelines. The average 12-month price target for the stock is $112.71, marking a 7% upside from where shares last closed.

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