Carly Forster

About the Author Carly Forster

Content Manager at TipRanks. Earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major in Communications at the University of California, San Diego.

Technology Beat: Analysts Weigh In on Facebook Inc and Micron Technology, Inc.

Analysts and investors alike are anticipating what the future holds for technology giants Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) as both companies have recently announced plans to improve growth. Here is what analysts are saying:

Facebook Inc

Social media giant Facebook Inc has been investing heavily in many different businesses and projects in an effort to increase future growth. One of the company’s Facebook acquired was Oculus Rift, a virtual reality company. Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster weighed in on Facebook on August 18 with the belief that Facebook will be positively impacted by the VR theme over the next three months. As such, the analyst maintains an Overweight rating on Facebook with a $146 price target.

Munster lists three main reasons as to why he thinks the VR theme will boost Facebook shares. The first reason is that “in September Oculus will host a developer conference in LA (Oculus Connect 2) which will address investor questions around the VR use case.” Munster sees the conference as an opportunity for Oculus to “answer one of the biggest questions investors have around VR which is: what are VR’s use cases?” Additionally, the company “will also announce details of their next version of Gear VR (phone driven VR), which was revealed by Oculus’ CTO’s Twitter Account last week.”  Munster also anticipates that Oculus “will announce the launch date for the Oculus Rift.”

The second reason Munster names is his belief that “the consumer version of Oculus (Rift), will be available slightly earlier than investors expect with sales starting in January of next year.” The analyst notes that “Buyside expectations for the Oculus Rift launch are for the second half of Q1 2016, but our industry sources point to the first half of Q1 2016 with pre-orders potentially starting holiday 2015.” Munster claims the extra few weeks “gets Oculus to market in time to take orders for holiday and also compete with the HTC Vive, which is expected to launch in December 2015.”

The final reason Munster lists for why VR will boost Facebook is his “analysis of VR headcount through LinkedIn suggests Facebook is making the most aggressive investment in VR talent which increases our confidence in Facebook’s long term VR position.” The analyst notes that for the “Long term, we believe Oculus has set itself up nicely to be an industry leader with acquisitions of 13th Lab, Nimble VR, Surreal Vision and Pebbles Interfaces. These acquisitions are included in the overall Oculus headcount numbers.”

On average, Gene Munster has a 64% success rate recommending stocks and a +23.5% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark. He has rated Facebook 24 times since 2009, earning a +42.8% average return per recommendation.

Out of 38 analysts polled by TipRanks, 35 analysts are bullish on Facebook, 2 are neutral, and 1 is bearish. The average 12-month price target for Facebook is $110.47, marking a 17.61% potential upside from where the stock last closed. On average, the all-analyst consensus for Facebook is Strong Buy.

Micron Technology, Inc.

Semiconductor company Micron Technology, Inc. recently held its annual analyst day in which the company provided updates on the future of its business.

Micron has not had the best year so far, having fallen over 50% year-to-date. As such, investors have been questioning Micron due to concerns over DRAM supply and the impact this has had on its share price.

Micron CEO Mark Durcan acknowledged that the slowdown of PC shipments shook the company, stating, “It really caught a number of us by surprise, but it’s not a cataclysmic cycle.” With that said, Micron is forecasting 25% growth for its DRAM business in 2015 and 24% in 2016.

Micron also sees continued growth within the mobile and enterprise markets driven by diversification of demand. Durcan noted, “It’s created a situation where memory makers have a lot more opportunity to differentiate themselves and their offerings.”

The company believes its recent investments in manufacturing will be another growth driver that will start paying off in 2016. Durcan commented, “We feel pretty good about continuing to invest through these cycles… We believe there is continued growth ahead.” Micron plans to primarily focus its growth efforts on improving its NAND capabilities as the company believes this is more volatile that DRAM.

Analyst reviews were fairly mixed on Micron following the company’s annual analyst day.

On the bright side, Wells Fargo analyst David Wong upgraded his rating on Micron from Underperform to Market Perform on August 17, but lowered his valuation range on the stock from $17-$20 down to $16-$19. While the upgrade seems like a positive move, it only stemmed from the fact that the stock is now trading within its valuation range and that it represents “a more realistic view of the improved business conditions in the memory industry.”

On average, David Wong has a 64% success rate recommending stocks and a +10.3% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark. The analyst has rated Micron 18 times total, earning a 69% success rate recommending the company and a +17.3% average return per recommendation.

On the other hand, Piper Jaffray analyst Ruben Roy reiterated an Overweight rating on Micron on August 17 with a price target of $25, noting that 2016 looks to be a “much better year for the company.”

Overall, Ruben Roy has a 44% success rate recommending stocks and a +3.4% average return per recommendation when measured over a one-year horizon and no benchmark. He has rated Micron 13 times, earning a 14% success rate recommending the stock and a -21.8% average loss per recommendation.

Out of 26 analysts polled by TipRanks within the past three months, 17 analysts are bullish on Micron, 8 are neutral, and 1 is bearish. The average 12-month price target for Micron is $27.00, marking a 56.79% potential upside from where the stock last closed.

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