Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)‘s stock had its “outperform” rating reiterated by equities researchers at Wells Fargo & Company in a report issued on Saturday, July 22nd.

The analysts wrote, “We believe investor expectations were high heading into today’s earnings release as commentary from third party marketing developers and ad agencies pointed to continued investments behind FB’s suite of ad products. Consistent with recent quarters, FB’s user metrics advanced in all reported regions, and advertising revenue earned per user showed material gains, though at decelerating rates of growth across all regions. Advertising revenue (+47% y/y) easily beat our and Street estimates, by 2.6% and 1.8%, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA was likewise ahead of our and Street estimates (by 12% and 9%). Reported GAAP EPS of $1.32 compared to our and Street estimates of $1.09 and $1.12. Total expense growth was substantially lower than anticipated, advancing 33% vs. our 42% estimate, and was accompanied by a narrowing of management’s full year expense growth guide to 40-45% from 40-50%. GAAP EBIT margin expanded 473 bps to 47.2%. Though lowered, the full year opex mid-point suggests a material 2H ramp in spending, a scenario supported by accelerated headcount additions. Even so, we expect guidance is likely conservative here. Flowing through results and model revisions our FY’17 GAAP EBIT climbs by 5% to $17.4B and our FY’18 GAAP EBIT increases by 1% to $21.7B. 2017/2018 GAAP EPS increase from $4.75/$5.79 to $5.16/$6.13. We maintain our Outperform rating and lift our price target to $185 from $170, implying FB shares can trade to 30x our FY’18 GAAP EPS estimate and 17 FY’18 EBITDA.””

Several other research analysts also recently commented on the company. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $165.00 target price on shares of Facebook in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Barclays PLC reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Facebook in a report on Friday, April 14th. Robert W. Baird reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $163.00 target price on shares of Facebook in a report on Thursday, May 4th. Vetr raised Facebook from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $154.73 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, May 17th. Finally, BidaskClub raised Facebook from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, forty-two have issued a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Facebook has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $180.91.

Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) opened at 171.18 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $160.69 and a 200 day moving average price of $147.01. The firm has a market capitalization of $497.14 billion, a PE ratio of 38.31 and a beta of 0.70. Facebook has a 52-week low of $113.55 and a 52-week high of $175.49.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The social networking company reported $1.32 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.13 by $0.19. The company had revenue of $9.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.19 billion. Facebook had a return on equity of 21.73% and a net margin of 38.84%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 44.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.97 earnings per share. Analysts expect that Facebook will post $5.33 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, VP Colin Stretch sold 750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $150.10, for a total value of $112,575.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 86,761 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,022,826.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Christopher K. Cox sold 16,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $169.95, for a total transaction of $2,719,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 180,871 shares in the company, valued at $30,739,026.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 10,183,113 shares of company stock valued at $1,607,154,643. Company insiders own 19.08% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FB. Meru Capital Group LP boosted its position in Facebook by 49.4% in the fourth quarter. Meru Capital Group LP now owns 214,673 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $24,698,000 after buying an additional 70,972 shares in the last quarter. Monetary Management Group Inc. boosted its position in Facebook by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Monetary Management Group Inc. now owns 30,175 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $3,472,000 after buying an additional 850 shares in the last quarter. Advisory Research Inc. bought a new position in Facebook during the fourth quarter valued at $405,000. Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Facebook during the fourth quarter valued at $140,000. Finally, Diligent Investors LLC bought a new position in Facebook during the fourth quarter valued at $396,000. 57.60% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Facebook

Facebook, Inc is focused on building products that enable people to connect and share through mobile devices, personal computers and other surfaces. The Company’s products include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus. Facebook enables people to connect, share, discover and communicate with each other on mobile devices and personal computers.

Analyst Recommendations for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)

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