What to Expect When Facebook Reports After the Close

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) will report its most recent quarterly results after the close on Wednesday. The consensus estimates call for $1.36 in earnings per share (EPS) and $11.41 billion in revenue. The first quarter of last year reportedly had $1.04 in EPS on $8.03 billion in revenue.

Earlier this month, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg navigated through two U.S. congressional hearings without making any further promises to support new legislation or change how the social network does business.

During both sessions, Zuckerberg repeated apologies he previously made for a range of problems that have beset Facebook, from a lack of data protection to Russian agents using Facebook to influence U.S. elections.

Apart from this, we can expect Facebook ads to be more transparent. The company will vet some advertisers to see who the ads are coming from, to partially use the social media company’s language. The action may uncover marketers who have political motivations at the heart of their messages.

Ultimately there may be some change in policy announced in this coming report as a result of all this.

Over the past 52 weeks, Facebook has more or less kept pace with the broad markets, with its shares up about 10%. In just 2018 alone, however, the social network has underperformed and the stock is down about 10%.

A few analysts weighed in on Facebook ahead of the report:

  • Wedbush has an Outperform rating.
  • Credit Suisse has an Outperform rating with a $230 target.
  • Goldman Sachs has a Buy rating and a $205 target price.
  • OTR Global has a Positive rating.
  • BMO Capital Markets has a Hold rating with a $170 target.
  • Stifel has a Hold rating with a $168 price target.
  • Cowen has a Buy rating and a $210 price target.
  • JPMorgan has a Buy rating and a $242 price target.
  • Jefferies has a Buy rating with a $215 price target.

Shares of Facebook were last seen trading at $159.25, with a consensus analyst price target of $216.06 and a 52-week range of $144.42 to $195.32.

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