What Analysts Are Saying About Facebook After Earnings

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) released its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed Wednesday and the stock took a small step back. Even though results were fairly strong, the cloud of Russian political ads hangs over the company, and it could be facing more headwinds in the future.

24/7 Wall St. has included some highlights from the earnings report, as well as what analysts are saying after the release.

The social media giant reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.59 on $10.328 billion in revenues. Thomson Reuters had the consensus estimates at $1.28 EPS on revenues of $9.84 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.09 and $7.01 billion in revenue.

The daily active users were 1.37 billion, up 16% from a year ago. Monthly active users were 2.07 billion, up 16% from the prior year.

The quarterly operating margin was 50% and mobile advertising revenue accounted for 88% of all ad revenues — up from 84% a year ago.

Facebook did not issue guidance for the fourth quarter, but analysts are calling for $1.70 in EPS and $12.02 billion in revenue. Also looking to the future, CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the security of its platform:

We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms. We’re investing so much in security that it will impact our profitability. Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.

FBN Securities reiterated its Buy rating with a $210 price target. The firm believes that Facebook is being conservative and could be overreacting to criticism from Congress, but politically this is a good move.

Aegis Capital reiterated its Buy rating and $215 price target. The firm called Facebook’s earnings another impressive beat over expectations.

JMP Securities pointed out that there are multiple tailwinds now that Facebook has 6 million advertisers. The firm maintained its Top Pick status on top of a Market Outperform rating and raised its price target to $225 from $195.

Here’s what a few other analysts had to say:

  • Oppenheimer raised its price target to $200 from $195.
  • SunTrust Robinson raised its price target to $215 from $210.
  • Moffett Nathanson raised its price target from $200 to $205.
  • Wedbush raised its price target from $225 to $230.
  • Cantor Fitzgerald raised its price target to $220 from $190.
  • Citigroup raised its price target to $210 from $200.
  • Credit Suisse cuts its price target to $230 from $235.
  • JPMorgan raised its price target to $225 from $210.
  • Jefferies has a Buy rating and raised its target to $225 from $215.
  • Barclays raised its price target from $200 to $215.
  • RBC Capital Markets raised its price target to $230 from $195.
  • Morgan Stanley raised its price target to $200 from $195.
  • Canaccord Genuity raised its price target to $200 from $190.

Shares of Facebook closed out the week at $178.92, with a consensus analyst price target of $206.38 and a 52-week trading range of $113.55 to $182.90.