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Facebook May Not Need To Prove WhatsApp Was Worth $19 Billion

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) paid an exorbitant amount of money for WhatsApp.

The $19 billion price tag is higher than any other company Facebook acquired, including Oculus VR, the developer of Oculus Rift.

Dan Miller, senior analyst and founder of Opus Research, doesn't think those expenses matter. He's more focused on the revenue results that will be reported this afternoon.

"I think they're going to show…mobile revenues are growing," Miller told Benzinga. "Clearly they're doing a lot of the right things to appeal to the mobile crowd. I can't speak to some of the other issues, whether they'll get the value out of WhatsApp and some of their acquisitions. That may not matter. They're going to report good numbers. It's going to be good news."

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'Money Strategy'

Former hedge fund manager and Scutify chairman Cody Willard is most concerned about Facebook's ability to monetize its user base. Miller is also focusing on this element over user growth.

"I think it's a money strategy," said Miller. "I'm looking at monetization. There will always be skeptics around growth. They're so big -- growth in the user base is probably no longer a good indicator. Now it's about monetization."

Miller also plans to keep an eye on Facebook's messaging strategy.

"People are addicted and spend a lot of time on Facebook," he added. "It's the time spent, the ability to monetize and what that means for mobile ads [that matters most]."

Maintaining Users

How can Facebook maintain its hefty user base? "I don't know that it's going to be vertical," said Miller.

"In the long-run it will be vertical. Some of the capabilities we've been looking at are probably around what's going on in the backend with analytics. There's so much activity going on that they can perform behavioral analytics on. That will define what verticals they get into."

Miller also noted the power of Facebook's big data.

"Whatever sort of analytics they have, looking for the patterns of uses and then reinforcing it -- they're going to be stronger," he added.

"I think they've laid the foundation for that. I don't know that they'll bring that up [during the Q&A], but that's certainly something we look at."

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Latest Ratings for FB

DateFirmActionFromTo
Nov 2016Wells FargoMaintainsOutperform
Nov 2016BTIG ResearchDowngradesBuyNeutral
Nov 2016Cantor FitzgeraldMaintainsBuy

View More Analyst Ratings for FB
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