Facebook Rallies on Analyst Comments Ahead of Earnings Report
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) shares are still off about 15 percent from the company's IPO pricing back in May 2012.
But shares have been rallying in recent months after hitting a low near $17. Facebook continued to climb on Monday, moving above $32 per share, after several analysts stressed their bullish outlooks.
- Raymond James upgraded Facebook to Outperform from Market Perform with a $38 price target.
- Bank of America maintained its Buy rating and $35 price target.
- JPMorgan reiterated its Overweight rating and $35 price target.
- Sterne Agee reiterated its Buy rating and $37 price target.
Facebook is set to report earnings on Wednesday after the closing bell. The analyst community sees upside heading into earnings.
Bank of America believes that increasingly high expectations for Facebook are “achievable” and expects that mobile traction as well as new advertising optimism will be catalysts for the year.
Sterne thinks Facebook is well positioned to benefit from two trends it observes in advertising: The shift to online advertising and the increasing importance of social advertising.
JPMorgan cites Facebook Exchange as a driver for yield in the desktop realm, particularly over the next several quarters. However, JPMorgan also cites video ads in the News Feed, Graph Search and Instagram as future earnings catalysts.
Raymond James was perhaps the most bullish, going so far as to upgrade the stock.
Raymond James states that their checks with advertising partners reveal strong demand for Mobile, News Feed and Facebook Exchange. The firm also sees strong demand from Facebook users, who revealed in a survey that they largely expect to increase their use of Facebook, particularly on mobile devices.
Tom Forte, an analyst at Telsey Advisory Group, told Benzinga mobile will key going forward. Internet usage is increasingly moving from the desktop to the mobile world, and Facebook's advertising revenue (as a percentage) from mobile will continue to increase. Forte has a $38 price target on Facebook.
Shares of Facebook traded near $32.17 on Monday.
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