Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is constantly innovating and it doesn’t look like the social media giant is slowing down anytime soon. Recently, Facebook announced a new partnership with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for Oculus Rift and new efforts to roll out a Buy Button.
Oculus Rift, a virtual reality company, was acquired by Facebook last year for $2 billion. Oculus hosted an event on June 11 in San Francisco where the company announced a partnership with Microsoft. The partnership will tie Oculus’s flagship product- a virtual reality headset- into the Xbox One. The headset tracks the users’ movements, allowing the user to feel as though he or she is in the gaming world.
According to Smarter Analyst, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray reiterated an Overweight rating on Facebook following the Oculus Rift conference with a $92 price target. Munster believes that as investors’ awareness of virtual reality, or VR, grows, “Facebook’s multiple will increase given the size and sustainability of the VR theme.” Munster acknowledges that Oculus won’t impact Facebook’s earnings for a few years, but believes, “this is the first step for virtual reality and we believe the Next Mega Tech Theme Is Virtual Reality.”
Gene Munster has rated Facebook 21 times since June 2012, earning a 76% success rate recommending the stock with a +40.2% average return per rating. Overall, Munster has a 71% success rate recommending stocks with a+26.9% average return per rating.
Aside from Oculus Rift, Facebook is also making waves with its Buy Button. The call-to-action button allows Facebook users to purchase products directly from Facebook’s platform without being directed to an independent website. Facebook hopes this will increase conversion rates for advertisers, thereby making Facebook an even more attractive advertising platform. Facebook users will be able to instantly purchase products by saving payment information to Facebook. The new Buy Button will compete with Pinterest, which is also launching a Buy Button.
According to Smarter Analyst, SunTrust analyst Robert Peck reiterated a Buy rating on Facebook with a $100 price target on June 11 following news of Facebook’s expanded Beta trial for the Buy Button. Peck notes that the Beta trial expansion “follows almost a year of the initial beta” and is running on the tails of the “recent announcement by Pinterest of Buyable Pins.” More importantly, he adds, “this expanded beta is running ahead of the important 4Q holiday season.” Peck continues, “We think that this new ad unit could not only expand the activity of current retail/ecommerce advertisers but also open a new segment of advertisers that are more ‘direct response’ ecommerce companies. The buy button could be combined with ad units like the carousel to display sets of highly targeted products.”
Robert Peck has rated Facebook 20 times since July 2013, earning an 80% success rate recommending the stock with a +30.6% average return per FB rating. Overall, Peck has a 59% success rate recommending stocks with a +12.5% average return per rating.
Overall, analysts are overwhelmingly bullish on Facebook. According to the 36 analysts polled by TipRanks, 33 recommend Buying the stock while 3 recommend to Hold. The average 12-month price target is $95.36, marking nearly a 17% upside from where the stock is currently trading. On average, the top analyst consensus for Facebook on TipRanks is Strong Buy.