Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday morning. The brokerage currently has $191.00 target price on the social networking company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Facebook’s mobile and live video efforts continue to pay off big time. Instagram has also emerged as an important revenue stream. Apart from mobile and video, the monetization opportunities of the company’s other subsidiaries – Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus – and a huge user base/higher engagement levels are expected to drive growth going ahead. Facebook is also dabbling in AR/VR and AI technologies, which bodes well for long term growth. In the last one year, it has vastly outperformed the broader market. However, rising costs and stiffening competition for ad dollars is concerning. Also, the recent uproar surrounding the apparent usage of the platform by Russian elements for interfering in the election process has put Facebook in a spot. Amid all this and tremendous investor pressure, Facebook has scrapped plans to create Class C shares that would have helped Zuckerberg to retain his control over the company.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. lifted their target price on Facebook from $170.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, July 27th. JMP Securities reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $195.00 target price (up previously from $170.00) on shares of Facebook in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Vetr upgraded Facebook from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $174.15 target price for the company in a report on Monday, August 28th. BidaskClub upgraded Facebook from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reiterated a buy rating and issued a $185.00 target price on shares of Facebook in a report on Friday, September 1st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, forty-two have given a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Facebook presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $184.95.

Facebook (NASDAQ FB) traded up 1.27% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $170.87. The stock had a trading volume of 15,340,366 shares. Facebook has a 12 month low of $113.55 and a 12 month high of $175.49. The stock has a market cap of $496.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.24 and a beta of 0.76. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $170.12 and its 200-day moving average price is $154.54.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The social networking company reported $1.32 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $9.32 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations 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 quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.97 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Facebook will post $5.33 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, CEO Mark Zuckerberg sold 268,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.52, for a total transaction of $42,499,212.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO David M. Wehner sold 15,470 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $167.16, for a total value of $2,585,965.20. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 62,375 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,426,605. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 12,667,406 shares of company stock valued at $2,078,665,122 over the last quarter. 19.08% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. First Financial Corp IN boosted its holdings in Facebook by 0.5% in the first quarter. First Financial Corp IN now owns 2,436 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $346,000 after purchasing an additional 11 shares during the period. Hartford Financial Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Facebook by 1.1% in the second quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc. now owns 1,488 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $224,000 after purchasing an additional 16 shares during the period. Regal Investment Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Facebook by 0.3% in the second quarter. Regal Investment Advisors LLC now owns 5,800 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $876,000 after purchasing an additional 18 shares during the period. Halbert Hargrove Russell LLC boosted its holdings in Facebook by 0.5% in the second quarter. Halbert Hargrove Russell LLC now owns 3,485 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $526,000 after purchasing an additional 19 shares during the period. Finally, Enterprise Financial Services Corp boosted its holdings in Facebook by 1.0% in the first quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp now owns 2,124 shares of the social networking company’s stock valued at $302,000 after purchasing an additional 21 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 57.26% of the company’s stock.

Facebook Company Profile

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.

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