What to Expect When Facebook Reports After the Close

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is scheduled to release its first-quarter financial results after the markets close on Wednesday. The consensus estimates call for $1.63 in earnings per share (EPS) and $14.97 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $1.69 in (EPS) and $11.97 billion in revenue.

This social media giant is the subject of an investigation from federal prosecutors delving into its data deals with some of the world’s largest technology companies.

A New York grand jury subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the requests and without naming the companies. But these companies rank among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, that have entered into partnerships with Facebook for access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users.

The probes focus on disclosures that Facebook shared the user data of 87 million people with Cambridge Analytica, in addition to looking at the data deals.

Currently, Facebook is facing multiple lawsuits and regulatory inquiries in regards to its privacy practices, including ongoing investigations by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and two state agencies in New York. Not to mention, there have been congressional hearings as well.

Overall, Facebook has outperformed the broad markets, with its stock up about 40% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock is up only 10.5%.

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

  • RBC has a Buy rating and a $200 price target.
  • Cleveland Research has a Buy rating.
  • Wedbush has a Buy rating with a $200 price target.
  • BMO Capital Markets has a Positive rating with a $190 target.
  • Morgan Stanley has an Overweight rating with a $195 target.
  • Guggenheim’s Buy rating comes with a $200 price target.
  • SunTrust has a Buy rating with a $210 price target.

Shares of Facebook were last seen trading at $183.35, in a 52-week range of $123.02 to $218.62. The consensus price target is $197.14.


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