UPDATE: Stifel Nicolaus Raises Facebook Target From $72 To $82, Says Advertisers See Opportunity

On Wednesday, Stifel Nicolaus raised the price target for Facebook
FB
from $72 to $82 and maintained a Buy rating. Analyst Jordan Rohan's channel checks “suggest that marketers view Facebook as a strategic communications platform,” and thus will “receive a significantly higher proportion of client' marketing budgets, particularly from sophisticated marketers” who personally track the effectiveness of Facebook ads. As a result, Rohan is raising his revenue and earnings estimates, “adding 6-7% to 1Q14 revenue and EBITDA estimates.” Rohan is “perplexed” by the WhatsApp acquisition, but believes the deal makes “strategic sense.” The analyst believes going forward “investors are likely to give the company leeway to take bigger risks, even at extended valuations.” Investors are in agreement with the analyst as Facebook shares trade up 4 percent to $71.52 Wednesday afternoon. Rohan's $82 price target is 14 percent above the current price.
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