FBR & Co.’s Top Technology and Media Picks for 2016

Recently, analysts from FBR & Co. released their Top 2016 Technology, Media, and Telecom Outlook report along with 7 stocks to own in 2016. Among them were Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Proofpoint Inc (NASDAQ:PFPT), and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE:SEAS).

Facebook Inc

One of the 7 stocks FBR & Co. recommends to own for 2016 is Facebook. Analyst William Bird expressed a positive outlook on the company’s mobile advertising and m-commerce initiatives, innovation, data asset, and high customer app usage, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and notably, Instagram. The analyst was optimistic regarding the development of other linked platforms such as entertainment and reviews. Bird believes messaging platforms contributed to the successful launch of first and third-party apps in Asia, which could present many commercialization opportunities for the company.

The analyst commented, “We view FB as a play on mobile advertising, pricing, and additional platform commercialization opportunities. FB is uniquely positioned to grow its share of the high-growth mobile ad market, a function of its product format, consumer stickiness, unique data asset (i.e., definitive IDs and cross-device login), and a strong track record of innovation.”

He continued, “Instagram is in the early stages of monetization, and… we believe revenue potential could approach $5 billion on its current user base, which continues to grow. FB’s large and data-rich platform and culture of constant innovation should enable numerous linked platforms, such as entertainment and local reviews (currently in testing). Additionally, messaging, the fastest-growing online behavior, has been a “Trojan horse” to launch first-party and third-party apps in Asia, with commercialization opportunities from games, payments, TV, e-commerce, music, and grocery delivery, among other things.”

Bird reiterated his Outperform rating on Facebook with a $125 price target.

Proofpoint Inc

Another one of  FBR & Co.’s most recommended stocks for 2016 is Proofpoint. Analyst Daniel Ives believes the company is well-positioned thanks to its product offerings, differentiation, and its potential ability to move into new services and markets. The analyst states the company is in the early stages of growth regarding its SaaS email security, as its customers benefit from “simplified management, lower costs, scalability, etc.”

Ives states, “As evidenced by PFPT’s rock-solid performance so far in 2015, and by its December quarter and initial 2016 outlook, which came in nicely above expectations, the company continues to penetrate further into its existing installed base with solid cross-sell/upsell execution and added a host of new customers domestically and internationally. In our view, PFPT’s cloud approach remains its strong selling point given the overall software market’s tectonic shift toward on-demand solutions, with solid opportunities in areas where large applications have transitioned over to the cloud, such as Office 365, and as enterprise cloud adoption has picked up steam.”

He continued, “To this point, we believe PFPT could capture approximately 20% to 30% of all companies migrating to Office 365 in 2016, and given the acceleration we are seeing in the field from Microsoft’s enterprise cloud transition, we believe PFPT could significantly increase its market share within core e-mail security over the next 12 months.”

The analyst reiterated his Outperform rating on the company.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc

FBR & Co. also selected SeaWorld as a top stock to own for 2016. Analyst Barton Crockett is bullish on the company due to recent management changes, which he believes will improve the company’s image, attendance, and overall revenue. He also believes that management’s willingness to shift the focus away from orcas, as this has been a source of controversy, will improve the overall business. While he is bullish on the company, he does express concern regarding its potential to change.

Crockett states, “We believe that the stage is set for SEAS to outperform in the coming year based on our view that, in its first full year at the helm, the new management team will be able to take advantage of attractive comps and improving public sentiment to stabilize attendance and revenue trends, eventually driving estimates and the multiple higher. In addition, we see management’s perceived openness to evolving the business away from its orca focus if negative sentiment continues to pressure performance as maybe the strongest catalyst for getting the business back on track.”

He continued, “If the business as it stands today is not fixable, we see a downside that is limited by the value of SEAS’s land and facilities, as well as the potential for value-enhancing breakup and goprivate scenarios that would involve capturing value for its Busch Gardens business and other assets.”

Crockett reiterated his Outperform rating for the company.

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