Facebook, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FB) F8 conference yesterday launched with security and privacy taking centerstage. This follows a key first quarter that saw the company bear the brunt of Cambridge Analytica’s data fiasco. As the company starts to craft a new story away from the crisis, with CEO Mark Zuckberg taking care to vow he will “keep building” to unite people, one of Wall Street’s best performing analysts sings FB’s praises today.
Top analyst Brian White at Monness Crespi commends notes that this “stock is an exceptional value,” and on back of a slew of new innovations, FB continues to be a standout bullish bet. The new innovations span core Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, as well as Messenger coupled with an Oculus Go shipment now on the table. Meanwhile, the crisis only allows the company’s branding to get even stronger, leaving White as confident as ever on the tech leader’s future.
Therefore, the analyst reiterates a Buy rating on FB stock with a $225 price target, which implies a 27% upside from current levels.
“We believe this crisis has provided Facebook with an opportunity to strengthen the integrity of its brand by very publicly putting in place strong privacy controls to protect its users,” cheers White. Moreover, the analyst underscores that Zuckerberg “went into steps taken since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, including restricting the data available to developers, finding other bad apps on the platform and placing tools in front of users. Moreover, Zuckerberg went over the company’s vision to design technology to bring people closer together with an increased focus on people and relationships.”
One of the new innovations is that “‘Dating’ is coming to Facebook,” adds White, who calls this a “big announcement” surrounding these “new ”Dating’ capabilities inside the Facebook app.” Another unveiling points to Oculus Go, which was “much awaited” and started to ship yesterday at a price of $199 with more than 1,000 apps available. Every attendee at the conference was gifted a free Oculus Go. Considering the company’s first virtual reality hardware product in March of two years ago was an Oculus Rift priced originally at $599 for the headset along with $199 for the touch controllers, the analyst is taking note of the new price.
To show how much Zuckerberg cares about protecting his users and bringing people close, the company additionally discussed plans of a new ‘Bullying Filter.’ From Instagram’s fresh ‘Explore’ capabilities and a ‘Video Chat’ feature to WhatsApp’s new ‘Group Calling,’ ‘Stickers,’ and even a language translation feature, there is plenty of reason to get excited about FB’s F8 roll-out of innovations. Even Messenger has a new look White commends as “cleaner and more efficient,” with a goal to transition the ‘AR Camera Effects Platform’ here. Ultimately, White roots for Facebook’s integrity as the company has emerged from the Cambridge Analytica situation teeming with new innovations.
Brian White has a very good TipRanks score with a 68% success rate and a high ranking of #71 out of 4,773 analysts. White realizes 16.1% in his annual returns. When recommending FB, White gains 4.5% in average profits on the stock.
TipRanks reveals this social media titan is a strong favorite on Wall Street. Out of 32 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 30 rate a Buy on Facebook stock, 1 maintains a Hold, while 1 issues a Sell. The 12-month average price target stands at $220.93,