Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Facebook, Inc. (FB) to “Buy”

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. They currently have $202.00 price objective 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 equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Aegis increased their price objective on shares of Facebook from $200.00 to $215.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Citigroup Inc. increased their price objective on shares of Facebook from $200.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS AG set a $208.00 target price on shares of Facebook and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Barclays PLC increased their target price on shares of Facebook from $200.00 to $215.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, Canaccord Genuity increased their target price on shares of Facebook from $190.00 to $200.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, forty-three have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $197.95.

Facebook (FB) traded down $0.35 on Tuesday, hitting $178.65. 7,796,339 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 16,856,391. The company has a market capitalization of $519,470.00, a P/E ratio of 34.49, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.14 and a beta of 0.67. Facebook has a twelve month low of $114.00 and a twelve month high of $182.90.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The social networking company reported $1.59 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.31. Facebook had a net margin of 41.69% and a return on equity of 23.64%. The business had revenue of $10.33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.84 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.09 earnings per share. Facebook’s revenue for the quarter was up 47.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Facebook will post 5.86 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, VP Colin Stretch sold 750 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.25, for a total transaction of $126,187.50. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 96,341 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $16,209,373.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Christopher K. Cox sold 16,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $180.27, for a total value of $2,884,320.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 49,816 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,980,330.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 5,730,694 shares of company stock worth $1,010,627,616 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 17.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. GSA Capital Partners LLP lifted its stake in Facebook by 868.7% in the third quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 23,975 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $4,097,000 after acquiring an additional 21,500 shares during the period. Coastline Trust Co lifted its stake in Facebook by 12.1% in the third quarter. Coastline Trust Co now owns 15,950 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $2,725,000 after acquiring an additional 1,720 shares during the period. Truepoint Inc. lifted its stake in Facebook by 16,822.1% in the third quarter. Truepoint Inc. now owns 6,137,138 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $6,137,000 after acquiring an additional 6,100,871 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust LLC lifted its stake in Facebook by 4,401.2% in the third quarter. Atlantic Trust LLC now owns 11,703 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $2,000,000 after acquiring an additional 11,443 shares during the period. Finally, Salem Investment Counselors Inc. lifted its stake in Facebook by 5.6% in the third quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 124,433 shares of the social networking company’s stock worth $21,096,000 after acquiring an additional 6,609 shares during the period. 57.44% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Facebook

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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