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Wall Street Still Likes Facebook After F8

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Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) held its annual F8 conference on March 25 and 26 in San Francisco, California and revealed a slew of new developments. Highlights from the conference include developments in Messenger, virtual reality, videos, and Aquila, which planned to be implemented throughout the year.

Facebook mainly focused on its Messenger application and revealed it will now allow developers to create apps specifically for Messenger. Messenger will also allow e-commerce businesses to communicate with their customers by sending them the shipping information of their purchase directly on the Messenger application, in turn allowing customers to ask a business questions. These new developments come just a few weeks after Facebook announced a new payment feature on its Messenger application that allows users to send and receive money to and from their Facebook friends.

Facebook also covered virtual reality in relation to Oculus Rift, the virtual reality company that was acquired last year. The social media giant implied that virtual reality technology could be launched on Facebook sometime this year as another way to connect with other people. Virtual reality will also be incorporated in Facebook's new video feature, which will allow users to post Facebook videos on other websites. More specifically, users will be able to wear their virtual reality headsets and insert themselves in an interactive 360-degree video of a location that their friend posted from any location.

Facebook also revealed it is dabbling in the up-and-coming drone market with Aquila, a drone that will be able to provide certain locations with Internet access. More information about Aquila is expected to be announced later this year.

Following the F8 developer conference, RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney reiterated an Outperform rating on Facebook with a price target of $90 on March 27, according to SmarterAnalyst. Mahaney believes Facebook's biggest development was its Messenger application. He noted, "Essentially, Facebook is taking an asset that has become a broad communications tool for over 600MM people and opening it up to developers. It is launching with over 40 live apps, with video functionality, stickers, and location flags highlighted."

Mark Mahaney has rated Facebook 19 times since June 2012, earning a 94 percent success rate recommending the social media giant and a +52.7 percent average return per recommendation. Overall, he has a 65 percent success rate recommending stocks and a +21.6 percent average return per recommendation.

Similarly on March 26, Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz reiterated a Buy rating on Facebook with a $105 price target following the F8 conference. He noted, "By [2017], online video ads could be a $17 [billion] per year oppt'y in the US alone. FB looks increasingly well positioned to capture a meaningful piece of that pie."

Brian Pitz has rated Facebook 12 times since October 2012, earning a 100 percent success rate recommending the company and a +50.9 percent average return per recommendation. The analyst currently has an overall success rate of 70 percent recommending stocks and a +14.9 percent average return per recommendation.

On average, the top analyst consensus for Facebook on TipRanks is Strong Buy.

Latest Ratings for FB

DateFirmActionFromTo
Mar 2017BarclaysInitiates Coverage OnOverweight
Mar 2017BTIG ResearchUpgradesNeutralBuy
Feb 2017Pivotal ResearchDowngradesBuyHold

View More Analyst Ratings for FB
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: Brian Pitz Mark MahaneyAnalyst Color Long Ideas Analyst Ratings Trading Ideas

 

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