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 research report report published on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $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.”

FB has been the topic of several other reports. Barclays PLC reissued an overweight rating and set a $168.00 price target (up from $160.00) on shares of Facebook in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a buy rating and set a $192.00 price target (up from $175.00) on shares of Facebook in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Vetr raised shares of Facebook from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $180.74 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, September 25th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating and set a $185.00 price target on shares of Facebook in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued an overweight rating and set a $195.00 price target (up from $190.00) on shares of Facebook in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, forty-three have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $197.95.

Facebook (FB) traded down $0.84 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $178.46. 11,070,100 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 16,976,990. The stock has a market capitalization of $521,011.41, a P/E ratio of 34.55, a PEG ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 0.67. Facebook has a 52-week low of $113.55 and a 52-week high of $182.90.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The social networking company reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.28 by $0.31. The firm had revenue of $10.33 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.84 billion. Facebook had a net margin of 41.69% and a return on equity of 23.64%. The business’s revenue was up 47.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.09 earnings per share. analysts expect that Facebook will post 5.81 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Michael Todd Schroepfer sold 38,055 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $172.60, for a total transaction of $6,568,293.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 533,937 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $92,157,526.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Christopher K. Cox sold 16,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 in the company, valued at approximately $8,980,330.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 8,218,261 shares of company stock worth $1,426,368,008 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 19.08% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in Facebook by 283.6% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 11,888,149 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $1,794,857,000 after buying an additional 8,788,743 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Facebook by 3.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 162,530,760 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $24,538,895,000 after buying an additional 5,151,190 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Facebook by 3.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 138,877,313 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $20,967,696,000 after buying an additional 4,032,727 shares during the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC raised its stake in Facebook by 15,047.5% in the second quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC now owns 2,540,691 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $16,828,000 after buying an additional 2,523,918 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Magellan Asset Management Ltd raised its stake in Facebook by 28.4% in the second quarter. Magellan Asset Management Ltd now owns 10,686,955 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $1,613,516,000 after buying an additional 2,361,166 shares during the last quarter. 57.27% of the stock is currently 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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