Analysts Bullish On Facebook Heading Into 2015
Heading into 2015, shares of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) are up over 46 percent year-to-date and analysts were largely bullish on the stock as of December. According to Wedbush, out of 57 analysts surveyed, 48 rated the stock a Buy, eight rated it Hold and only one rated it Sell.
Below are highlights from analyst comments made during December.
Wedbush named Facebook a “Top Pick” and felt its future remains bright. Analysts led by Betsy Van Hees believed “Facebook is well positioned to rapidly gain share in the online advertising market given their user base scale, superior data, and cross-platform targeting capabilities. There are several near-, intermediate- and longer-term catalysts that could drive shares higher over time.
“In the near-term, we believe the core mobile newsfeed ads and improved right rail desktop ads are key drivers, while in the intermediate-term, video ads and off-network ads (via Atlas, FAN, and LiveRail) could be meaningful contributors. Longer-term, we believe Instagram monetization and WhatsApp represent large opportunities.”
Wedbush maintained an Outperform rating and $90 price target.
Following Wedbush’s comments on Instagram monetization potential, Analyst Mark May at Citi commented on December 19 that “Using what we believe to be conservative assumptions around user growth and monetization, we believe Instagram is worth $35bn – up from the $19bn we had previously estimated due to faster growth in its audience as well as continued monetization gains by social media properties.”
Citi rates Facebook a Buy with a $91 price target.
MKM Partners’ analyst Rob Sanderson noted that Facebook should benefit over the coming years as the company is well positioned to attract video ad dollars. The analyst added that the company's “superior” business model gives it a distinct advantage among social media companies as video ads will fuel growth for the next 10 years.
MKM Partners initiated a Buy rating and $105 price target on December 5.
On December 16, JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth reiterated his “Overweight rating on Facebook as engagement metrics across mobile and desktop remain strong. This report looks at November mobile and desktop data, which shows Facebook’s share of overall Internet time improved M/M to 16.9 percent."
JP Morgan maintained an Overweight rating and $85 price target.
Facebook closed Monday at $80.01, down 0.94 percent.
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