Facebook soars on earnings beat, market experts weigh in on the results

Investing


Investors are getting friendly with Facebook again.

Shares of the social media giant climbed more than 5 percent in Wednesday trading on the back of its earnings report Tuesday evening. The move was also giving a boost to its fellow FANG stocks and the broader tech sector.

Here’s what market experts had to say about the results:

• Michael Block, market strategist at Third Seven Advisors, said that while many investors have given up on Facebook, there’s still growth potential in the tech space. A lot of folks who made a lot of money in the stock over the past few years are still in the process of throwing in the towel. I still say the kind of growth these companies have been showing in terms of advertising works,” he said. “So maybe that’s a Facebook issue, but [still] this sector is where the growth is.”

• Scott Kessler of CFRA believes that while the market volatility has pushed investors out of big growth names, Facebook’s positive results suggest the stock has more room to the upside.The fact that Facebook was able to deliver that given all of the concerns really says I think a lot about the company in that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon,” he said. “The shares have fallen 30 percent from their highs I think in July and so we have seen this as a buying opportunity really for the last week or two.”

• Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group, said that despite the clear health of the company, Facebook’s ability to keep up with a fluctuating user base could be problematic moving forward. “They know they need to move the product on and they’re trying things like Stories and trying to keep that audience that they need so desperately to be engaged,” she said. “We don’t own it and it’s always been because of the capricious consumer and the fact that you know there’s no real moat there.”

• Michael Graham, analyst at Canaccord Genuity, said that Facebook’s transition to monetize ads in less profitable spaces could be offset by its near-term profitability as a whole. “Facebook is trying to make sure they deal with [ads] properly and keep engagement high across their different portfolio of use cases,” he said. “They came out and said that the profitability outlook is going to bottom next year in 2019. Whereas coming out of Q2 they said it might be 2020 or 2021, and so I think investors sort of look at this and say ‘we can see the bottom of the estimates ramp for Facebook and it’s set up a little better going forward.'”

Bottom Line: Facebook’s ability to deliver growth despite a number of setbacks suggest the stock is likely to press higher from here.



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