Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares slipped 2.5% in after-hours trading Wednesday, after the social giant warned investors that its advertising revenue growth would likely come down from current high levels.
But regardless, Facebook actually reported solid first-quarter results, posting revenue of $8.03 billion, beating the consensus estimate of $7.83 billion and up 49% from a year ago. The company also beat expectations for earnings per share with $1.04 vs. consensus estimate of $0.87.
“We had a good start to 2017, we’re continuing to build tools to support a strong global community,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Baird analyst Colin Sebastian commented, “At first glance, Facebook reported strong results, reflecting ongoing market share gains, the benefits of increasing monetization of Instagram, and increasing video ad contributions. While there may be some confusion in comparing GAAP vs. non-GAAP margins, it appears expenses increased in line, or slightly below, our expectations.”
“As we have highlighted in prior research, given that Facebook growth remains healthy and robust, we believe any lingering concerns over user engagement and social competitors should dissipate, as few companies share Facebook’s combination of scale, strong technology orientation, and platform breath/diversity,” the analyst added.
Facebook shares have been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, Deutsche Bank analyst Lloyd Walmsley maintained a Buy rating on FB, with a price target of $180, which represents a potential upside of 19% from where the stock is currently trading. On May 1, Stifel Scott Devitt reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $165.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Lloyd Walmsley and Scott Devitt have a yearly average return of 14.2% and 19.5% respectively. Walmsley has a success rate of 63% and is ranked #353 out of 4572 analysts, while Devitt has a success rate of 74% and is ranked #78.
Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on FB stock. Out of 24 analysts who cover the stock, 23 suggest a Buy rating and only one recommends to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $163.53, which represents a potential upside of 8% from where the stock is currently trading.