Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday, November 7th. The firm currently has $202.00 price target on the social networking company’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Facebook reported strong third quarter 2017 results as mobile and live video efforts continue to pay off big time. Instagram remains another important revenue stream. Apart from mobile and video, the monetization opportunities of the company’s other subsidiaries – Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus – and a huge user base/higher engagement levels are expected to drive growth going ahead. Facebook is also dabbling in AR/VR and AI technologies, which bodes well for long term growth. In the last one year, it has vastly outperformed the broader market. However, due to the recent uproar caused by apparent usage of the platform by Russian elements for interfering in the election process has put Facebook in a spot. As a result, Facebook CEO has said that it will make sizable investments to tighten security on the platform which along with continued investments in video, AR/VR and AI, will dent operating margins going ahead.”
Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BidaskClub raised Facebook from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $185.00 target price (up from $163.00) on shares of Facebook in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Mizuho reissued a buy rating on shares of Facebook in a research report on Monday, August 7th. MKM Partners reissued a buy rating and set a $200.00 price objective (up from $180.00) on shares of Facebook in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Finally, Pivotal Research downgraded Facebook from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, forty-three have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. Facebook presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $197.95.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The social networking company reported $1.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.28 by $0.31. Facebook had a return on equity of 23.64% and a net margin of 41.69%. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $9.84 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.09 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 47.3% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Facebook will post 5.86 earnings per share for the current year.
In other Facebook news, insider Christopher K. Cox sold 16,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $179.63, for a total transaction of $2,874,080.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 56,622 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,171,009.86. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Peter Thiel sold 160,805 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $178.90, for a total value of $28,768,014.50. Following the sale, the director now owns 6,311 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,129,037.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 5,652,146 shares of company stock valued at $999,797,448. Insiders own 17.23% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 2.4% in the 1st quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 284,167 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $40,366,000 after purchasing an additional 6,740 shares during the last quarter. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ lifted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ now owns 25,857 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $3,904,000 after purchasing an additional 602 shares during the last quarter. ING Groep NV lifted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 6.9% in the 2nd quarter. ING Groep NV now owns 589,751 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $89,041,000 after purchasing an additional 37,822 shares during the last quarter. Grand Jean Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 14.3% in the 1st quarter. Grand Jean Capital Management Inc. now owns 127,250 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $18,076,000 after purchasing an additional 15,910 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Segment Wealth Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Facebook by 157.5% in the 1st quarter. Segment Wealth Management LLC now owns 7,333 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $1,042,000 after purchasing an additional 4,485 shares during the last quarter. 57.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Facebook, Inc is focused on building products that enable people to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers and other surfaces. The Company’s products include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus. Facebook enables people to connect, share, discover and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers.
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