Facebook -0.7%; analysts hike price targets after broad beat
After opening up today as much as 2% lower after posting its Q1 earnings beat, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has made up ground and is down 0.7%, as investors continue to fret a warning over slowing ad revenue growth in 2017.
Several analysts raised price targets, with Jefferies going to a group high of $192, from $175 (implying 27% upside). The firm’s Brian Fitzgerald says fears over rising expenses didn’t materialize, and expects the company will beat its expense outlook for 2017 to boot.
It’s a “modest negative” that revenue growth slowed down in the U.S. and Canada, says RBC’s Mark Mahaney, but every other region held its growth or accelerated, he notes. The firm raised its price target to $185 from $175.
Meanwhile, Piper Jaffray’s Samuel Kemp says accelerated ad pricing will make up for falling ad load, suggesting second-half revenue estimates are reasonable. He raised his price target to $165 from $160.
BofA/Merrill Lynch agrees with that ad assessment, but noted that higher expenses in Q1 tempered some optimism. It’s gone to $170 from $165 and reiterated a Buy rating.
Now read: Facebook’s Earnings: All Eyes On Advertising Technology